Ted's Blog

Timely updates and reminders on personal money management. Seeing to it that you always have the up-to-the-minute information you need to win the game.
November 17, 2017

Your goal should never be a successful life. Your goal should be a happy and successful life. There is no real success if you’re not happy. Happiness is not an option. It is a requirement.

I really hope you’re both happy and successful. But if you’re not, you’re far from alone, because most of the people in this country today feel they have neither a successful life nor a happy one. We’ve reached a point where only 33% of Americans are happy.

We have this amazing country, the richest and most powerful country in the world, and yet most Americans are not that happy, nor do they feel all that successful. How can this be?

The truth is that we’ve been sold a very bad bill of goods as to what it is that will make us successful, as to what will make us happy. Over and over we’re told that money adds to happiness.. success is more.. a bigger job, a better house, a nicer car.. that if we work hard, save our money, that someday we’ll get to live the good life.

Well I ask you.. have these things worked?

The truth is that you can be happy, you can be successful. You can be free work at what you want, when you want, live where and how you want and do that a heck of a lot sooner than 65. But to do that, to achieve that, you may well have to change how you’re going about things.. to do what does work.. to learn how to do it, then make the commitment to go and get it.

And that’s what  is all about.. The Real Keys to a Happy and Successful life. And when you see what these keys really are it may surprise you because, if you’re like most people, you’ll find that they’re far too often not what you think.. not what you’re been told.

Also, I’m not saying that money can’t add to happiness, because it can. But that’s not what’s happening, not even for those that have loads of money. Most of the rich, most of the successful, most of the famous people in our country today are unhappy. Is that really success?

The truth is that you can be happy, you can be successful. You can be free work at what you want, when you want, live where and how you want and do that a heck of a lot sooner than 65.

But to do that, to achieve that, you may well have to change how you’re going about things.. to do what does work.. to learn how to do it, then make the commitment to go and get it.

When you talk to people that have lived a long life they will tell you that it is the very things I’ll be telling you to do that really are what matter. They’ll also tell you, so very often, that failing to do these things are their greatest regrets.

So how do you think I learned this stuff? Trial and error.. 76 years of it, and I’ve got the scars all over my body to prove it. Fortunately, I did learn. I’m also not alone. I’ve met a number of others who also know. Some had these really great parents who taught them from the get-go. Most of them, however, learned like I did, the hard way. Lots and lots of trial and error.

Actually, I guess we’re the fortunate ones. Certainly a lot more fortunate than the hundreds of millions who aren’t happy and successful. The good news is that that needn’t be you.

There are 10 keys to a happy and successful life, and anyone can do them. And I’m telling you, you need to do them all.. every single one. If you don’t you begin to greatly reduce the chances you’ll have the life you wish. In many cases, failing to do these things won’t just reduce your chance of success, it’ll end it. That you will not have the life you wish.

I know this sounds like overkill, but I promise you, it’s not. If at any time you doubt me, go talk to someone who’s had a full and happy life and I’m confident they’ll tell you that the things I’ll be telling you to do are indeed the real keys to a happy and successful life.

Want to learn more? Watch this course now.

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November 17, 2017

You may not know this, but car ownership costs are the second largest household expense in the U.S.. 17% of take-home income. The average family spends almost as much money on cars every year as they do on food and health care combined!

The good news is that cars aren’t just a huge expense. For most people they can be one heck of an opportunity for saving.

There are so many opportunities to save or lose money here, so many tricks they try to play on you, I can’t tell you. Fortunately, I’ve learned all kinds of things to do and not to do over the last 55 years of car buying and especially thanks to the advice of a smart and very knowledgeable insider.. a nationally known expert named Remar Sutton. And if you google Remar Sutton’s name, well game over.. because he da man.

So what did I learn? That buying cars smart is just not that hard a thing to do, and that can it save you somewhere between $1,000-3,000 a year, depending on what price range you‘re buying in. Multiply this over the years and you’re talking one heck of a lot of money.

How much money? $1,000-3,000 a year invested at say a 6% return is 40 to 120 thousand dollars in 20 years! Think of what that kind of money alone can do for you. Pretty amazing, isn’t it. But to get that money, your money, there are quite a few things you need to be aware of.

For example…

Pricing.. We’re told that for a new car, sticker price is meaningless. That what matters is invoice price, which is what the dealer paid for it. But surprise, surprise the invoice price is not what the dealers pay. They also get what’s called dealer holdback from the manufacturer on every vehicle they sell. The holdback is usually about another 3% of the sticker price.

Where to buy a used car.. Most people would say it’s best to buy from a private seller, but a lot of the time you’re likely to do better if you don’t. Not unless you know the seller personally. If you do, great.

If you don’t, you can always go on-line and buy someone’s car that they’re selling, but you better be really careful, because you may have just entered the Lion’s den.

An awful lot of the used cars being sold on-line by quote-unquote the owner are not being sold by owners. They’re being sold by professionals, people selling maybe a car or two a week.

Far too much of the time they know how to fool you on the condition of the car. Far too often they’ve rolled back the mileage. Far too often it’s a car they bought on the cheap, and for good reason, and are now selling it to you at a quote-unquote fair price.. fair if it wasn’t a problem car.

So yes, you can go online and take your chances on a private sale but for most people I think there might be a better way to go. Buying your car from a new car dealer.

So why a new car dealer? It’s the new car dealers that are the ones getting most of trade-ins and the lease backs. And so what do they do? They usually keep the good ones, the ones that are in really good condition, and wholesale out the others to the used car auctions. So they probably just picked you a good car.

And they also usually use the down-time in their service department to check everything, fix whatever needs fixing, which reduces the odds you’ll end up with a problem.

Now don’t misunderstand me. The world of the car dealer is a very tricky place, to say the least. Car salesmen are often genuinely very pleasant people but you need to be careful, as the world of car buying and selling has, in so many ways, become a game.. a game they play every day.

As to how to win that game, it really isn’t that hard, but to do so there is some key stuff you need to know. And once you do, I think you’ll end up just like me.. smiling all the way to the bank.

Want to learn more? Watch this course now.

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November 6, 2017

What did you ever learn in school about personal money management that you were able to use in your life? Spending, saving, investing and such. Nothing, right? If that’s your answer, you’re far from alone.

I’ve asked that question of hundreds of people and always the same answer. Nothing.

For most people, not having a real life understanding of personal money management has been nothing short of disastrous. Look at the results..

  • 2 people in 3 over 50 today cannot, will not, be able to retire.. 667,000 out of every 1 million people! What are they gonna do? Work at Walmart till they drop?
  • Most Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck! 7 in 10 don’t even have $1000 in the bank! Think of the stress whenever something happens, and it always does.. a car repair, a medical bill, God forbid a job loss!
  • Money is now the #1 cause of unhappiness in our society today.. the #1 cause of divorce!

If some of this applies to you, if you’re like most people, concerned about your future, not getting what you’ve worked for, what you deserve, you’re far from alone.

So why has this happened? The answer is simple. It’s what I said at the start, that nobody ever gave you a real world education regarding money. Nobody ever told you what to do and how to do it.

The good news is that solving this huge and extremely damaging problem is actually a fairly easy thing to do.

I’ve been watching this happen for over 30 years now, watching it getting worse and worse. Finally, I couldn’t just watch anymore. I’ve had and have a great life.. a great marriage, great health and all the money I need, I so I decided to help.. to give back in thanks for all that I’ve been given.

For four years, from 2008 to 2012, I spent half of my time, and a lot of money to build a public service project to try to help everyone. I wrote a book, MoneySmart, that was voted best personal finance book of the year in 2011.. been a guest on radio shows and such.

I was able to help thousands of people. But it was thousands, when it should’ve been millions. What I came to realize was that people needed to be able to sit down, face to face, one on one, and get a clear and thorough explanation of what to do and how to do it.

So that’s what I decided to build. It’s a program of 7 on-line video courses. 7 subjects. The first one you take will be 29.95. After that they’re only $23.95 each. The videos run about 35 to 45 minutes each, and include all of the supporting tools and notes you’ll ever need.

If you’re like most people, this program is highly likely to save you a great deal of money in the years to come but far more importantly, to see to it that money adds to your happiness, as it should, not take away from it.. to help you to see to it that you get to live the life you’ve worked for, and do so a heck of a lot sooner than waiting till you’re 65.

And keep in mind that you almost never have someone advising you about money without a vested interest and I don’t have any, and if this project goes as well as I think it will I’ll just end up donating the majority of the profit to help others.

So that’s it. That’s what this critically needed project is all about.

To learn more, visit the courses.

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November 2, 2017

For a long time now we’ve been told, marketed to, endlessly, that debt is “normal”.. that it’s ok to have some debt. That it’s ok buy things before we have the money to pay for them. You know.. the old “nothing down, and no interest, no payments for the first 12 months” and so on.

What this is, is the machinery of business going after its interests, and you’re not going to stop that. But except for a mortgage and possibly some education debt, the truth is that debt is not good.

Unfortunately, we’ve reached the point where 80% of Americans are now in debt. I sure hope you’re not one of them. But if you are, here are some things you really need to think about.. and then do something about.

First, and most important of all, if being in debt hasn’t already damaged the quality of your life, I promise you, it’s going to. And that if you don’t solve this problem, the stress, the damage, is only gonna get worse.. probably a lot worse. And that someday you’ll deeply regret letting that happen.

Most people with a debt problem usually don’t deny that they need to fix this problem. What they do instead is convince themselves that something will happen in the future to solve it and all will be well.

A common assumption is that their income will grow faster than their spending, but even if that does turn out to be true they are usually well conditioned by then to just keep spending more, and just end up going deeper yet into debt.

The bottom line is that these things just don’t work.

The good news, however, is that anyone genuinely ready to get rid of their debt can make it happen. Yes, it’s not an easy thing to do, but you can almost certainly do it. Over a million people do it every year. Over a million people! And most of them will tell you that it was one of the best things they ever did in their life.

Even if you owe a lot of money, feel like the debt involved is just too much.. that it will take either a very long time or a lot bigger income to do so, I promise you that if and when you are genuinely ready to do so, you can eliminate your debt.. all of it.. and no way will it take forever, or anything like that.

As to just how important this is to do, you don’t have to just listen to me. Seventy-five percent of Forbes’ richest people in the world say the best way to build wealth is to become debt free.

Think about that. Seventy-five percent of the richest people in the world say the best way to build wealth is to become debt free.

The truth, here, is very clear. Unless you solve this problem and do so now, not “later”, you will almost certainly damage your future, your quality of life, your happiness. It will end up being one of your life’s biggest regrets.

You will almost certainly never get to achieve financial freedom. Never even get to retire successfully. 2 people in 3 over 50 in our county today cannot.. will not.. be able to retire.

No way you want to be in that group, and no way do you have to be, not if you make the commitment to solve this problem.

And as always, time is either your best friend or your worst enemy and you always want its power working for you, not against you. So you need to start now. Right now.

As to how to do it, I can lay it all out for you in about 30 minutes.

Want to learn more? Here’s the link..

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April 12, 2017

I know I have talked and written a lot about how important it is to get out of debt, and stay out. But you know what’s just as important? Having an emergency fund. Everyone needs an emergency fund. If you don't already have one, starting one should come before any significant debt reduction. That’s right, BEFORE, debt reduction.

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