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  Wednesday November 26th, 2014    

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The Alchemist (07/18/2007)
By Al Thomas

The magic bullet to retirement

Everyone is looking for that "magic bullet" that will allow them to retire rich or at least comfortable. They want to be able to do what the TV ads show - vacationing in Fiji, fly fishing in Vermont, etc, etc.

It seems so easy on TV. A pretty "financial analyst" from some big company shows the prospect how it is done. The next part of the trick is getting it done - and that ain't easy.

It usually means a change because the potential retiree must take part of the cash now being spent on present life style and put it away not to be spent until retirement becomes a reality. If the couple shown in the ad do it they will be glad they did. Sacrificing some current pleasantries will have been worth it.

The $2,000, $3,000, $5,000 trip today could be worth twice that amount or more at age 65 if the worker now is lucky enough to have a good broker or planner - one who will not allow loss of principal during subsequent bear markets. Annuities sound good, but 99% are rip offs.

If an annuity is appealing insist on a sample policy. Take it to an attorney and pay $250 or so to have it translated into English. The most important paragraph is the cancellation clause. Get a letter from him stating the major features. When the policy is delivered compare it line for line with the sample to be sure they are the same. Accept no substitutions or changes.

The persons saving will want to have a financial planner who has an excellent exit strategy. There are very few of them. Ask to see their model portfolio results for the years 2000 to 2003. If they lost 30, 40% or more find another advisor.

Advisors like to show how they did in relation to the S&P500 Index which lost 40%. They show they did "better". Better still means they would have lost the client's money. This is the road to disaster as there will be another serious bear market and customers' money will go down the rat hole again.

A smart investor will continue due diligence until such an advisor is found. Rarely will it be a stock broker. Occasionally a financial planner can be found. Search on the Internet. Make them prove (and be sure it can be verified) the results. Don't accept 10-year projections. These are nonsense. Even during the bad 3 years there should be profits.

When people come to the end of the road and may no longer be able to work for an income the money put away will be their blessing. The great Social Security farce may have blown up by then. People must take personal responsibility for their retirement. Few have done so and think the government will take care of them. Think again or enjoy those canned cat food sandwiches.

Act now. Unless you are the Lone Ranger there will be no magic bullet.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter at www.mutualfundmagic.com to discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know. Copyright Williamsburg Investment Co. 2007 All rights reserved.

 

 

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