Are You Honest, Hard Working, and Financially Solvent? If So, Read This – You Won’t Like It, But You Should Read It Now
Just about every adult I know is wondering about the economy.
MB, who owns a large furniture wholesaling business, is wondering when consumers will start shopping again. “I’m just treading water now,” he says. “But not making any profit. My employees are getting paid, but I’m not.”
PE, a real estate developer, fled the US after all his hundred million dollar developments went bust. Now he’s building homes in Panama. “I wonder if I’ll ever get back home,” he said.
My sister, a high school teacher, has seen many of her friends lose careers due to budget cutbacks. She wants to know whether we’re in a “recovery” that will protect her job or will things get worse next year?
Nobody knows for sure what will happen. But when I’m not sure about the future my rule is hope for the best but plan for the worst.
The best we can hope for? A gradually improving economy with full health restored in 5 to 7 years.
The worst? A massive, worldwide Great Recession as long and as bad as the Great Depression.
In this essay I hope to do two things.
- Show you why I believe the worst-case scenario is about 100 times more likely than the best-case one.
- Give you a three-part plan to survive and prosper.
Why Things Are Likely to Get Worse
Since the real estate bubble inflated and collapsed trillions of dollars have disappeared from American households.
And millions of Americans – actually tens of millions – are now, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt.
My view of what happened differs a bit from the story you’ve been told by our government and most economists.
Wealth didn’t magically appear and disappear. What happened was that the government, banks, brokers, and real estate professionals colluded in the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the world.
Wealth (stored assets) shifted from the bank accounts of teachers, plumbers, merchants, and people like you into the bank accounts of bankers, brokers, lawyers, and others who participated in the scam.
The wealth I’m talking about is not the tens of trillions in trumped up property values that disappeared. That wealth never really existed.
The money that was cleverly shifted from one large group of people to a much smaller one consisted of hard-earned savings and now-depleted retirement accounts.
A significant portion of that transfer came from fees – the billions and billions of dollars in fees charged by the bankers, brokers, and lawyers for all the new and second mortgages, the appraisals, the insurance, the legal vetting, etc.
But even more of it came from mortgage payments. While property values were falling, millions of Americans did their best to keep up with mortgage payments, often emptying their bank accounts in a futile attempt to maintain “good credit.”
That transfer was probably in excess of a trillion dollars. And it hasn’t stopped. There are still tens of millions of Americans “under water” who will keep paying till they can’t do it any longer. Eventually, they will enter into settlements that will, essentially, leave them bankrupt.
So most Americans are poorer now or will be very soon, while the banking and brokerage community – protected as it has been by the government – is richer and will become richer still.
But that’s not the entire problem.
Our government itself is bankrupt. Its debt far exceeds its assets and that debt has been spiraling skyward since the Clinton administration.
Whether it was to fight the “war” on terror, finance fraudulent brokerages and irresponsible banks, the federal government has been taking on debt faster than at any time in its history. We are talking about tens of trillions of dollars.
And finally there are all the future financial obligations our legislators have voted in. Financing the baby boomer’s financial and retirement needs in the next 20 years will cost additional tens of trillions of dollars.
The total, by any count, is more than a hundred trillion. And one way or the other every single dollar of that must be paid back.
Who Will Pay That Back?
Not the financial masters of the universe that planned it all … .not the banks, brokers and lawyers that promoted it … and certainly not the government (which never pays back anything).
No, these trillions will be paid back by a small percentage of the population who have been foolish enough to (a) work hard, (b) start businesses, (c) employ other people, (d) create new products and services, (e) make profits, (f) save those profits and (g) not fall for stupid scams and schemes like the real estate bubble.
Those are the people who are going to have to pay back the debt. There aren’t many of them. They comprise less than 20% of the population. But they will pay back 80% of the remaining debt. That is a 100% certainty.
And why will the sins of the 80% be paid for by the 20%?
Because no one else can pay it back.
Our government can’t pay it back. It’s bankrupt. The bankers and brokers and lawyers won’t pay it back. They have been “saved.” Eighty percent of the population won’t be able to pay it back because they don’t have anything.
So it must be paid back by the honest, frugal taxpayers who still have wealth – the middle-class and upper-class Americans who still have assets.
If you have assets that means you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a billionaire or have a net worth of $10,000.
They – the 80% of America that is (or will soon be) bankrupt are coming after you. And they will have the government and the financial community at their sides.
There are three ways they will come at you:
- By taxing you more. If you have a good income, they will make you pay more taxes. If you have assets, they will make you pay a higher “wealth/property” taxes on those assets. And they will introduce consumption taxes.
- They will make create alternative, private taxes on every product or service you purchase. (These private taxes will take the form of increased banking, insurance, transportation, purchasing, and other fees – all tied to regulations meant to “protect you.”
- They will make your income shrink while your expenses rise, making you ultimately poorer unless you do something radical. This is the primary way they will make you pay back their debt. With many years of stagflation. The economy will be sluggish. Income, on a relative scale, will decrease. And prices will rise. Getting us 20% poorer is really the best and surest way to pay back all the bad debt.
If you think this is crazy speculation, do this. Post this now on your calendar for 2015 and then read it again then. See how crazy it seems then.
If you don’t think I’m crazy and want to do something to protect yourself, pay close attention to the rest of this message.
Recognize that you will not be able to avoid the three-stage assault I outlined above.
- You will not be able to avoid the extra taxes you will have to pay. If you do try to get fancy with your taxes, you’ll end up in jail. This is not an avenue worth pursuing.
- You’re not going to avoid paying all the extra “private taxes” on everything you buy from now on. These will all be buried in the fine print. You won’t find them. And even if you do, you’ll be required to pay them because the laws that are being written right now to “protect” us contain clauses that allow banks and brokerages and so on to pass along the extra costs to their customers.
- And finally, you are not going to be able to avoid the effects of stagflation. The value of your cash-based assets (it doesn’t matter they are in dollars or Euros or what) will diminish. Prices will increase. But your salary will not.
But there is something positive you can do. Actually, there are three things:
- Keep your job. There is a good chance that the business you work for will continue to make payroll cuts in the months and years ahead. That means your income or possibly your job is threatened. The best way to protect your job is to become an invaluable employee. When your boss has to make the tough decisions about who gets cut, who gets cut back, and who stays, you want him to want to keep you. You can do that by becoming an invaluable employee.
- Put your savings in tangible assets: gold, real estate and, if possible, your own private business.
- Create additional streams of income. This is the only way you can actually hope to build your wealth during the coming Great Recession. This is the most important of the three solutions.
I am a big believer in multiple streams of income. I started working on it about twenty years ago. At first the streams were mere trickles. Now each one of them is more than I need. And I have about a dozen of them.
That’s why I’m not personally worried about the great recession. But if you don’t have additional streams of income, you should be.
How to Create Extra Income
If you have at least a half million in cash, you can create income two ways:
You can invest in rental real estate. I’m doing that now and I’m getting cash flow of between 5% and 10% on my money.
You can invest in quality, dividend-bearing stocks. I suggest you follow Andy Gordon's recommendations in the Sound Profits newsletter.
If you don't have a hundred grand to invest, then you really have no choice. To create a viable second stream of income you must start a side business – something you can do evenings and weekends.
You could mow lawns or clean windows. But that's hard work for modest pay. The kind of business I recommend is one that (a) doesn't require very much start-up capital, (b) provides you with job satisfaction, and (c) could eventually allow you to quit your day job.
As an AWAI member, you’re in luck.
AWAI specializes in helping people create multiple streams of income … all from learning just one financially valuable skill. AWAI has more than a dozen opportunities for you to choose from. Opportunities like copywriting, being an internet researcher or publicist, writing resumes, desktop marketing, self-publishing, graphic design … to name just a few.
These opportunities can give you a sizeable second (or third) stream of income doing something enjoyable. And more than that, they can be leveraged into building even more opportunities.
Let me give you a couple of examples of AWAI members who have done just this:
Ann Kuffner originally became an AWAI member so she could promote her retirement/relaxation development in Belize. But things changed – and changed dramatically – after she attended her first Bootcamp last year.
While she remains Vice-President of Sales of the Grand Baymen development, she also has become a full-fledged copywriter enjoying her second stream of income …
“Earlier this year, I reached one of my primary goals. I landed a significant assignment with a reputable international lifestyle publication. I’ve already completed and been paid for the job. And, I’m expecting more follow on work … I would never have come this far, this fast, if not for Bootcamp …”
Member Roy Furr wasn’t expecting any big changes in his life last year. He actually liked his job, but he knew he was limited there.
Today Roy’s enjoying a recession-proof income stream and has no ceiling on how much he can make …
"This time last year, I had no clue how my life would be changed when I attended AWAI's FastTrack To Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. I was holding on to my full-time job, only dreaming one day I'd tell my boss, 'Adios! I'm off to do what I want to do and make myself rich!'
"I wasn't sure if I was ready, but I invested in Bootcamp anyway and to my surprise (and my former employer's) I launched my full-time freelance copywriting business 3 months and 3 days after returning home.
"Now I can tell you flat-out: AWAI's Bootcamp was the best investment I could possibly have made in launching my freelance copywriting career.”
Ann and Roy’s stories are far from unique. They tell typical stories of doors opening when you put yourself in the fast-paced, high intensity environment of AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.
Bootcamp opens doors by providing master-level training, training packed with copywriting and marketing secrets.
It opens doors by giving you opportunities almost every moment you’re there to network with other members and with master copywriters and marketers who are presenting at Bootcamp.
And the most exciting opportunity of all: AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair opens doors by letting you meet face-to-face with representatives from companies at the Job Fair … who are there specifically to hire new writers. That’s how Ann and Roy starting building their second income streams and how you can too.
There are many others too. Like Susan Clark. from HawthorneCalifornia …
“Last month I made $13,210 from writing copy. I never could have done it without AWAI's FastTrack to Success.”
Or Eric Gelb …
"I attended my first Bootcamp last November. The event changed my life. I learned new and essential techniques and skills. I became friends with two copywriters and we brainstorm ideas that help me make money. I landed two clients at the Job Fair. And the best news is within six weeks of Bootcamp, I received $4,350 in fees."
This year’s Bootcamp features an amazing lineup of professionals willing – no make that eager – to share their insights, their lessons, and their secrets with you so you can get started on building your second, third, or fourth income stream quickly and surely.
These are pros like …
- Bill Bonner – whose famous International Living letter ran as a control unchallenged for 30 years, and whose Agora Publishing is now one of the largest publishers in the world …
- Ted Nicholas – whose copywriting has produced over $5.9 billion in sales for his companies and his clients' companies, in industries as wide ranging as candy products to incorporation to marketing to natural health.
- Mark Everett Johnson – copy chief for legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz, his 15-plus year control for a major health provider has generated over 3.3 million paid orders and over $80 million in sales.
And, of course, I’ll be there too. This year I’m teaching a systematic way to write million-dollar copy again and again.
This is just a glimpse of what you can expect to experience at this year’s gathering of the greatest minds in direct marketing and copywriting. I’ve asked Katie to attach the Bootcamp agenda at the end of this letter so that you can get a fuller, richer picture of the program.
Perhaps, you will walk away from Bootcamp this year with an experience like Susie H’s …
"My expectations for Bootcamp were that I'd learn loads, get psyched up, be exhausted by the end, and meet plenty of eager AWAI members, generous seminar leaders, and Bootcamp coordinators. I was not disappointed in any of those expectations …
“What I didn’t go expecting, even though I've read these stories myself, was to walk away with a paid assignment from this Bootcamp … but I did! Networking happens, whether you consciously do it or not (unless you talk to absolutely no one while you're there).
“Let it take you where it will, because you'll be thrilled when it does. And, when you get home and the phone rings the next day with another paid assignment, you can grin, make the deal, then hang up and scream, and jump for joy. Go ahead. Expect it all. It happens."
If you want to create an extra stream (or streams) of income for yourself, your opportunity to start begins at the AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. It is the best way I know of to do it.
It works. It’s worked for these copywriters you’ve already heard from. And it’s worked for many others who’ve used it to generate their own income streams.
Bootcamp opens its doors in just two months. And when those doors open, they will open doors for you … if you’re willing to take the first steps. Click this link to learn even more about the exciting adventure awaiting you at Bootcamp. And the fulfilling life a second and third income stream can provide for you.
This is a great chance – maybe the best chance you will ever have – to get to the next level of financial success.
If you're serious about taking charge of your future, be there!
As I said, the most significant thing you can do to protect yourself from what I predict will be a disintegrating economic environment is to get an extra (or two) stream of income. But this is NOT something you should wait to do next year. The longer you put it off, the more challenging it will be. There’s still a significant opportunity to create a lifelong cash stream if you act immediately.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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