The Number One Financial Goal

What should you invest in? Should you put as much as possible into your retirement account? Stocks? Bonds? Investment real estate? If you believe the horse malarkey disseminated by the talking heads and parroted by the main stream media then all of the above – but the real question is how has that worked out for millions of working people so far? How about those who are in their mid forties and fifties and whose retirement accounts have tanked losing almost all value? Or the millions who dumped small fortunes into the stock market in various ways – and lost it all. Even real estate, the golden goose itself – stumbled and fell so hard that the shock wave destroyed millions of peoples personal finances. So what is the magic answer?

That’s just it. When it comes to investments there is no guaranteed surefire one hundred percent investment vehicle that will always make you the big bucks with zero risk. I know some promise otherwise – to get you to buy what ever they are selling. Many masquerade as “advisors” or some other equally trust evoking title of expertise and helpfulness. They make you believe they are working solely in your best interest. Try to get them to sign a contract with an iron clad guarantee that you will never lose any money if you buy what they are selling and see what happens.

A true advisor is supposed to be giving advice that is in the best interest of the client. Usually that is not the case at all. In fact it’s more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing that has invited you to dinner. Many really serve themselves and don’t give a rats ass about you or what you want except to the point that doing so furthers their cause at serving themselves and helps them extract what ever it is they want from you as quickly and efficiently as they can. Usually that is as much of your money as possible. What they really are is glorified sales people in most cases.

To me an advisor or consultant is someone you pay a fee to for advice or consultation – that’s it – and beyond that has no vested interest in any further outcome. No commission, bonuses, fees, kickbacks, rebates, incentives – or what ever you want to call money that changes hands as part of a future transaction tied to their “advice”. Just my personal opinion – so take it or leave it as you will and make up your own mind.

The best manager of your money is the one you see in the mirror – you yourself. After all you are the one who will benefit or suffer directly by the actions that are taken. You have to make up your own mind and take what ever actions you see fit. You can go with the flow and follow conventional programming or you can strike out on a completely different path.

I once had a friend who was convinced he was going to win the lottery. He had a decent income, a nice upper middle class home with a big pool in  the nicely landscaped back yard, two nice cars, a wife and a child. Unfortunately he was deeply in debt to pay for all the stuff he bought including the house which was mortgaged to the hilt – and he was falling behind on his payments. His stress level was intense. So what solution did he come up with?

He decided the best thing he could do wasn’t to eliminate any of his expenses or get rid of some of the massive debt he had – but rather to take about half of his net pay and “invest” it in lottery tickets each week. He predictably got further and further behind on his debt payments until eventually the house went into foreclosure. He never did win the lottery…

But it was his choice and his money, his life and his responsibility.

This is how I see it when working people gamble with the precious money they worked so hard to earn, and “invest” it in what ever the talking heads and so called advisors are pushing at the time. Money that working people can not afford to lose – not without severe personal repercussions. Especially when so many of their advisors (glorified salesperson’s) recommendations will produce little more than what a saving account would produce over the same amount of time, and a savings account does not risk losing their principle like other things do.

Is it bad to buy a few lotto tickets once in awhile? Not as far as I am concerned it isn’t – but when you take large amounts of your net income and divert that to sanctioned gambling, regardless of whether it is the lottery or the stock market, I think that is a terrible idea that can and often does lead to personal financial tragedy.

The single best investment I personally know of is investing in your own financial independence by becoming totally debt free as fast as possible and owning a home of some kind that is not mortgaged or financed in any way. When you own a home, own more than one vehicle that is paid for in full and have no credit card debt, or installment accounts, sleazy pay loans etc – and you save up several months worth of living expenses – then perhaps some money may be risked in  other ways, but now if it is lost it will not be financially devastating.

Even then there are better things to invest it in as far as I am concerned – but to each his or her own. After all, it is your money, your life and your responsibility.