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Monthly Archives: September 2012

If you had to sum up Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in one word, you might have picked the word “audacity.”

It was audacious to believe a first-term senator from Illinois could become president. It was audacious to think a politician no one knew before the 2004 Democratic convention could overcome the Clinton machine. It was audacious to think a young black man with the middle-name “Hussein” could be elected president. It was audacious to think that a Democrat who’d always opposed the Iraq War and had no foreign-policy experience could beat a popular war hero while we were still mired in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Obama knew it. “Audacity” is the word he picked to describe his campaign. He even titled his book “The Audacity of Hope.”

If you were going to pick a single word to define President Obama’s reelection campaign, you definitely would not settle on “audacity.”

“During the last weeks of this campaign, there will be debates, speeches and more ads,” Obama says. “But if I could sit down with you, in your living room or around the kitchen table, here’s what I’d say.”  (Click on Download this video on the following link   – )

This is, in other words, the fullest argument the Obama campaign is likely to present to swing-state voters. And it’s a strange argument. It’s not just a cautious case for Obama’s reelection. There’s nothing unusual about a timid politician. What’s odd is that it’s a timid argument for a president whose ideas are not timid. It’s an argument meant to obscure the fact that Obama has better, bigger ideas than the ones he’s telling you about.

Typically, campaigns try to make incumbents look bigger than they really are, to overstate the scope of their accomplishments and their policies. Obama’s campaign is trying to make the president look smaller than he is, to underplay their accomplishments and, in particular, the scope of their policies.

Take the economic plan Obama lays out in the above ad. Create a million new manufacturing jobs. Help businesses double their exports. Cut taxes for companies that invest in America. Cut oil imports in half. Produce more American-made energy. Train 100,000 new math and science teachers. Cut the growth of higher-education tuition. Reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. Use half of the savings from ending the Afghanistan war to invest in America.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same agenda that Obama laid out in his convention speech. What’s unusual about it is that, if you know what the Obama administration has actually proposed and done, this isn’t their best agenda. Nothing on this list, for instance, would do nearly as much to create jobs as the American Jobs Act. Nothing on this list will do nearly as much to help ordinary Americans as simply protecting the Affordable Care Act until it begins insuring people in 2014.

The Obama team knows all that, of course. There’s a reason they’re playing down the audacity of their first term and deemphasizing the policies that they think would do the most to help in a second. The American people, their research shows, are tired of audacity and skeptical of big ideas. They’re willing to believe Obama has done about the best job he could have been expected to do given the collapse of the global economy and the intransigence of the Republicans. But if they’re going to believe that, they’re also not willing to believe that he’s got all the answers now, or that his next big idea is the one that will really turn all this around. If they’re going to lower their expectations, he needs to be more realistic in his promises.

And so the Obama campaign is downsizing its ideas, at least for the remainder of the campaign. Call it the audacity of not telling people to hope for too much. Better to underpromise and, if all goes well, overdeliver, then to overpromise and lose the election.

Ezra Klein’s WONK BLOG

Washington Post

September 30, 2012


Straight arrows.

Open and direct.

What you see is what you get.

Professionally committed to making every aspect of our lives better.

There is nothing that we use that has not been influenced by engineers whether in the fields of research, education, development, manufacturing, production or marketing.

There is a strong social context for the work done by this group.

They use their extraordinary capacity to extract complex theoretical science and knowledge and transform it into useful pragmatic applications for the benefit of society.

Given the dysfunctional state of the political and financial environment in the US it is time to recruit the best and the brightest professional engineers in the US to become fully engaged in both the political and financial arenas in order to apply their unique ability to solve complex issues.


Dan Zwicker


Aug. 24, 2012


The new President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi is a Professional Engineer trained in the US at the University of Southern California.

We will see very shortly how he does in his complex political environment.



The GOP’s Will to Fantasy

Jonathan Schell

This article appeared in the September 10, 2012 edition of The Nation.

Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate is the latest episode in a story of conflict within the Republican Party that has many chapters. It has been said a thousand times that, in the long competition between the party’s radical base and its slightly less radical leadership, the choice of the extreme budget-cutter Ryan represents a shift toward the base, and that is certainly true. But it is also a development in another, related story.

The record of the last decade or so suggests that the GOP these days is animated by two main goals. First, it seeks unchallengeable, absolute power. Its modus operandi for achieving that goal has been to use institutional power—of corporations, the courts and legislatures—to acquire even more institutional power. A recent case in point is the drive in Republican-dominated states around the country to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies, such as the poor and minorities, by legislating onerous requirements for voting.

The other goal has been a less familiar one. More and more, Republicans have exhibited a strong desire to take up residence in an imaginary world, an alternate reality—one in which global warming is found to be a fraud perpetrated by the world’s top scientists, Obama turns out to be a Kenyan-born Muslim (and a socialist), budgets can be slashed without social pain, firing government employees reduces unemployment, tax cuts for the wealthy replenish government coffers, and so forth. Perhaps it seems odd to identify this retreat from reality as a political goal, but past ideological movements on the left as well as the right offer many examples of the power of such a longing.

Conscientious fact-checkers in the media have rebutted individual items that make up the GOP’s factitious universe. Such efforts are always worthwhile but are likely to backfire with the believers. Once they have been lured away from reality by ideology, fantasy is no longer a disadvantage for them; rather, it is the source of the appeal. The deceptions are popular not in spite of their untruthfulness but precisely because of it. When the target of the insurrection is not only some hated rival or establishment but the factual universe, with all its unwelcome restrictions and psychological burdens, then the more flagrant the violation of truth, the keener the thrill.

Often, the will to power and the will to fantasy go together. As the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century discovered, the two can reinforce each other. Such seemed to be the explicit ambition of a top Bush adviser when, at the height of the Iraq War, he famously said that the administration had delivered a coup de grâce to nothing less than “the reality-based community,” for “we’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” It was a classic statement of the totalitarian logic of the propaganda artist in power. What better way to win support for propaganda than to abolish the reality that contradicts it? The adviser’s boast was premature, but his logic was clear: If we don’t like the real world, we can do away with it.

Those dreams of omnipotence expired in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, but the conflict between the will to power and the will to fantasy lived on in new forms. The career of Sarah Palin offers an illustration. She and reality were strangers, as the world saw in her interviews. Her mind was almost a blank slate, and she showed neither inclination nor aptitude to remedy the lack. To draw her into that world was a kind of cruel mistake. She soon withdrew from it, deciding, after protracted dithering, to stay out of this year’s presidential race and retreat into a world in which her talents and temperament were in fact stellar: the world of mythmaking and spin on Fox News. It is entirely in keeping with this choice that her husband, Todd Palin, has now turned up in NBC’s militarized “reality” show, Stars Earn Stripes.

There was a lesson in Sarah Palin’s withdrawal. For all the triumphs of cash-fueled political manipulation, the sphere of policy and governmental decisions has its dangers for the addicts of unreality. Fantasies can be a path to power, but they can also become a costly self-indulgence.

Palin’s balking at reality’s edge was only one of many twists and turns in the winding path the GOP has followed between power and fantasy. Sometimes it has tipped one way, sometimes the other. Twice—in the presidential primaries of 2008 and 2012—the party hearkened for a time to the siren call of the unreal world of its base (Mike Huckabee in 2008; Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich this year) before veering away to enter, with conspicuous distaste, into an arranged marriage with the more sober choice (John McCain in 2008, Romney this year).

But now comes the choice of Ryan. It is a decided—possibly a decisive—tip in the direction of fantasy. To be sure, Paul Ryan is no Sarah Palin. He is a veritable policy wonk, but also an ideologue. Ideologues can know a lot, and Ryan does, but their knowledge is so tendentiously selected that information, instead of connecting them to what is real, actually armors them against it. Such is the case with Ryan. The media spotlight has been on the renowned Ryan budget, passed twice by the Republican majority in the House, but even more telling is his stand on global warming: he is a major-league denier. All the most prestigious academies of science around the world, including the American National Academy of Sciences, agree that warming is real, man-made and well advanced. Ryan demurs. He has accused climate scientists of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion” in order to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” He has voted against all measures to remedy the problem. He has suggested that winter in Wisconsin is evidence against warming, which he has called “a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.”

As for that budget, it promises to achieve balance while providing no such thing, instead calling for broad tax cuts without specifying spending cuts anywhere near the level that would be needed as offsets to bring it into balance. Ryan’s budget depends entirely on one of the hoariest false promises in politics, the free lunch, thereby contributing to what Paul Krugman rightly calls an economic “culture of fraud.”

About the Author

Jonathan Schell

Jonathan Schell is the Doris Shaffer Fellow at The Nation Institute and teaches a course on the nuclear dilemma at Yale…

Our cultural environment in North America is:

Get an education – get a good job – do your best as an employee – enjoy your pension.
Nowhere is there an emphasis on either financial literacy or entrepreneurship in our primary school education system.
That is the genesis of the 1% – 99% split we see in financial wealth.
The politicians have nothing to do with this issue.

They simply reflect it in the same way as anyone else e.g. Obama – Romney.
Dan Zwicker


September 11, 2012



‘Highjacking’ of Agendas



Those of us who plan in detail work our plan.

It begins early in the AM (5 – 6 AM – as early as 4 AM)

The day is scheduled with the commitments of the day – hourly – in blocks of time.

It reflects our ‘Agenda’.

It reflects our priorities.

Unexpected requests for our time arise throughout the day.

They may or may not be significant priorities from our point of view

But –

They sometimes come with a plea for help ‘Please – – – – – – – -!’

If the plea is significant we adjust our agenda to fit it in.

If the plea is not significant (to us) we say ‘no’ (politely, of course).

If the ‘no’ is ignored and the plea moves to the next level we are faced with an unconscious attempt to ‘hijack’ our agenda.

If we are highly protective  about our time and its use our behavior will reflect our attitude toward ‘hijacking’.

It may reflect poorly on those who need our time.

So – what to do?

It is simple.

Be open and direct about how you plan and execute your daily plan.

Ask for the space (time) you need to accommodate the request for help.

Those who are highly focused on time will understand and those who are not will have an opportunity to ‘Raise The Bar’ in how they manage time.

75% of all people in our society are stimulated externally by social contact – no matter where it arises – friends- neighbours – strangers – family – entertainment (sports – TV – movies, Seinfeld).

25% of all people in our society are stimulated internally by thought – with little need for external stimulation through social contact.

These 2 very different attitudes toward social contact have an extraordinary impact on our perceived behavior. (President Obama and Mitt Romney are said to be aloof – but not so with their families).

To maintain an acceptable level of civility just let people know who you are.

P.S. There is an exception to the above.

When a plea arises from our CEO (spouse). All bets are off.

Just do it!

From the early 1960’s those who were employed in companies which offered Defined Benefit pension plans had no financial planning to do for their retirement. They had to simply earn as much money as they could and their employer’s pension plan would typically  provide a lifetime pension based upon the average of their best five years of income.

30% of those now employed in companies have such a plan.

The balance of all employees with an employer’s pension plan have a Defined Contribution Plan.

There is no lifetime pension income guaranty.

There is simply a defined contribution arrangement generally made by both the company and the employee.

These employees must become or hire their own financial planners.

It is major inhibitor for the 14,000,000 Boomers in Canada who are now at or preparing for retirement.

Dan Zwicker

Daniel H. Zwicker, Principal
B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Professional Engineers Ontario
Certified Financial Planner
Chartered Life Underwriter
Chartered Financial Consultant
Chartered Financial Services Broker

Bus: 416-726-2427

Daniel H. Zwicker, CFP Blog::
FFCG Blog:
Beyond Risk Blog:

first financial consulting group inc.
4261 Highway Seven Suite 238
Markham , Ontario L3R 9W6

Capital Risk Management
Lifetime Sustainable Income
Strategic Wealth Management

Specialists in Advanced Life Insurance Applications and
Lifetime Sustainable Retirement Planning Solutions

New clients are accepted by referral only

‘Raising The Bar’

Romney is out to lunch. Growth begins and ends with education. Balance sheets simply measure how we are doing. Bain, Romney the GOP have no interest in education – except theirs. The US has become complacent. Time to reenter the game.

Daniel H. Zwicker, Principal
B.Sc. (Hons.) P.Eng. CFP CLU CH.F.C. CFSB

Professional Engineers Ontario
Certified Financial Planner
Chartered Life Underwriter
Chartered Financial Consultant
Chartered Financial Services Broker

Bus: 416-726-2427



Daniel H. Zwicker, CFP Blog::
FFCG Blog:
Beyond Risk Blog:

first financial consulting group inc.
4261 Highway Seven Suite 238
Markham , Ontario L3R 9W6

Capital Risk Management
Lifetime Sustainable Income
Strategic Wealth Management

Specialists in Advanced Life Insurance Applications and
Lifetime Sustainable Retirement Planning Solutions

New clients are accepted by referral only

‘Raising The Bar’

lobal game. Dan Zwicker Toronto.

From:  HuffPost Education <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 15:42:10 +0000 (UTC)
To: <>
Subject: Obama: America Can ‘Out-Educate And Out-Compete’ Any Country On Earth
Friday, September 7, 2012
President Barack Obama had barely begun his acceptance speech at the Democratic National                            Convention on Thursday before uttering a word Republican nominee Mitt Romney                                              didn’t  mention until he was three-quarters through: Education.

Clinton offers unflinching endorsement,

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Bill Clinton, riding a wave of popularity greater now than on the day he became president, put it all on the line for Barack Obama Wednesday night with an endorsement for the ages.

Ending days of speculation over their once-brittle relationship, Clinton cast his lot with President Obama with rule-breaking audacity — all but abandoning his written script and speaking straight from the heart.

Clocking in at an epic 48 minutes — almost double the allotted time — Clinton drove teleprompter operators to distraction, ignoring the text to free-riff his way through a president’s-eye view of why Obama is the obvious choice on Nov. 6.

“When we vote in this election, we’ll be deciding what kind of country we want to live in,” Clinton told a jammed arena in Charlotte. “If you want a winner-take-all, you’re-onyour-own society, you should support the Republican ticket.

“But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility — a we’re-all-in-thistogether society — you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

Clinton rounded on Republicans, reducing the message of last week’s GOP convention in Tampa to a single self-incriminating sentence: “We left him a total mess, he hasn’t finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in.

“I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better,” Clinton said.

“He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long, hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses and lots of new wealth for the innovators.”

It was an astonishing performance — one that transformed the night, the convention, perhaps even the race itself.

Clinton drilled down into detail with a folksy candour, making Obama’s case on economic recovery, health care, jobs, debt and the threats that loom over Medicare and Medicaid, the country’s two most expensive and beloved entitlement programs.

It all added up to full-throated endorsement likely to be studied for years in political science classes everywhere.

Coming on the heels of Michelle Obama’s tear-tinged testimonial Tuesday, it all sets up Obama for a convention-ending finale Thursday. But the former president’s performance introduces a vexing new challenge — how, precisely, does the current president outdo this?

However Obama intends to frame his appeal for a second term, the words won’t come as originally planned.

Early Wednesday, his campaign cited ominous weather projections in shifting from Charlotte’s 74,000seat outdoor football stadium to the 20,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena, the setting for each of the past two nights. The move will leave tens of thousands of Obama loyalists high, dry and speechless. But it also spares the campaign the embarrassing optics of a stadium-sized appearance that would have begged comparison to four years ago in Denver, when pre-crash America first fell in love with “hope and change.”

Clinton’s remarks in Charlotte crowned a night in which Democrats shifted to a far more aggressive — and socially combative — stance, rolling out dozens of speakers in a carefully co-ordinated repudiation of the Republican agenda under Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

The hit came on all levels, each framing GOP aspirations as throwbacks to an antiquated America where women, Hispanics and working families were — and will again be — left behind.

Cecile Richards, whose Planned Parenthood organization would be stripped of federal funding under a Romney administration, warned: “This year women learned that if we aren’t at the table, we’re on the menu.”

She listed Obama’s policies on women’s health. “We will no longer pay more than men for the same health insurance. Thanks to President Obama, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition.”

But none of Wednesday’s culture warriors battled like Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student who objected to being shut out of congressional testimony on contraception earlier this year, only to be branded a “slut” by arch-conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Taking a coveted prime-time slot on the convention stage, Fluke warned that America faces a choice in which “extreme, bigoted voices” could hold sway over women, and limit access to abortion, to birth control and to help for domestic violence victims. Or, she said, Americans could stick with a president who, “when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters — not his delegates or donors — and stands with all women.”

The Charlotte faithful rose to their feet in ovation. Women figured prominently throughout the night — a reflection not only of their greater numbers among Democratic lawmakers but also of the huge premium Team Obama places on female voters.

Elizabeth Warren, embroiled in a close race for Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s seat, echoed her plea for economic fairness that became a viral web sensation in 2011. “No Gov. Romney, corporations are not people,” said Warren. “People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick. . . . That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that’s why we need Barack Obama.”

Clinton didn’t deny that times are tough now, but told voters, “I know we’re coming back.” “For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we’ve always come back,” he said. “We come through every fire a little stronger and a little better. And we do it because in the end we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honour — the cause of forming a more perfect union. “If that is what you want, if that is what you believe, you must vote and you must re-elect President Barack Obama.”

Mitch Potter

Toronto Star


By Mandi Woodruff |

Business Insider

Tue, 4 Sep, 2012

The rich just think differently than everyone else

Recently the world’s richest woman said the middle class’ priorities are keeping them from getting rich.

Seven Media Group – News – Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has said Australian wages are damaging economic development, even going so far to provoke a stinging rebuke from Billionaire Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, is famous for his many cars. Among …

World’s richest woman Gina Rinehart is enduring a media firestorm over an article in which she takes the “jealous” middle class to task for “drinking, or smoking and socializing” rather than working to earn their own fortune.

What if she has a point?

Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” spent nearly three decades interviewing millionaires around the world to find out what separates them from everyone else.

It had little to do with money itself, he told Business Insider. It was about their mentality.

“[The middle class] tells people to be happy with what they have,” he said. “And on the whole, most people are steeped in fear when it comes to money.”

1. Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.

“The average person has been brainwashed to believe rich people are lucky or dishonest,” Siebold writes.

That’s why there’s a certain shame that comes along with “getting rich” in lower-income communities.

“The world class knows that while having money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it does make your life easier and more enjoyable.”

2. Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.

“The rich go out there and try to make themselves happy. They don’t try to pretend to save the world,” Siebold told Business Insider.

The problem is that middle class people see that as a negative––and it’s keeping them poor, he writes.

“If you’re not taking care of you, you’re not in a position to help anyone else. You can’t give what you don’t have.”

3. Average people have a lottery mentality. Rich people have an action mentality.

“While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems,” Siebold writes.

“The hero [middle class people] are waiting for may be God, government, their boss or their spouse. It’s the average person’s level of thinking that breeds this approach to life and living while the clock keeps ticking away.”

4. Average people think the road to riches is paved with formal education. Rich people believe in acquiring specific knowledge.

“Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” he writes.

“Meanwhile, the masses are convinced that master’s degrees and doctorates are the way to wealth, mostly because they are trapped in the linear line of thought that holds them back from higher levels of consciousness…The wealthy aren’t interested in the means, only the end.”

5. Average people long for the good old days. Rich people dream of the future.

“Self-made millionaires get rich because they’re willing to bet on themselves and project their dreams, goals and ideas into an unknown future,” Siebold writes.

“People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and often struggle with unhappiness and depression.”

6. Average people see money through the eyes of emotion. Rich people think about money logically.

“An ordinarily smart, well-educated and otherwise successful person can be instantly transformed into a fear-based, scarcity driven thinker whose greatest financial aspiration is to retire comfortably,” he writes.

“The world class sees money for what it is and what it’s not, through the eyes of logic. The great ones know money is a critical tool that presents options and opportunities.”

7. Average people earn money doing things they don’t love. Rich people follow their passion.

“To the average person, it looks like the rich are working all the time,” Siebold says. “But one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it.”

On the other hand, middle class take jobs they don’t enjoy “because they need the money and they’ve been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort.”

8. Average people set low expectations so they’re never disappointed. Rich people are up for the challenge.

“Psychologists and other mental health experts often advise people to set low expectations for their life to ensure they are not disappointed,” Siebold writes.

“No one would ever strike it rich and live their dreams without huge expectations.”

BarackObamadotcom via YouTube

9. Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

“That’s why people like Donald Trump go from millionaire to nine billion dollars in debt and come back richer than ever,” he writes.

“While the masses are fixated on the doing and the immediate results of their actions, the great ones are learning and growing from every experience, whether it’s a success or a failure, knowing their true reward is becoming a human success machine that eventually produces outstanding results.”

10. Average people believe you need money to make money. Rich people use other people’s money.

Linear thought might tell people to make money in order to earn more, but Siebold says the rich aren’t afraid to fund their future from other people’s pockets.

“Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, ‘Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?'” he writes.

11. Average people believe the
markets are driven by logic and strategy. Rich people know they’re driven by
emotion and greed.

Investing successfully in the stock market isn’t just about a fancy math

“The rich know that the primary emotions that drive financial markets are
fear and greed, and they factor this into all trades and trends they
observe,” Siebold writes.

“This knowledge of human nature and its overlapping impact on trading give
them strategic advantage in building greater wealth through leverage.”

 12. Average people live beyond their means. Rich people live below theirs.

“Here’s how to live below your means and tap into the secret wealthy people have used for centuries: Get rich so you can afford to,” he writes.  “The rich live below their means nor because they’re so savvy. but because they make so much money they can afford to live like royalty while still having a king’s ransom socked away for the future.”

13. Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich.

Rich parents teach their kids from an early age about the world of “haves” and “have-nots,” Siebold says. Even he admits many people have argued that he’s supporting the idea of elitism.

He disagrees.

“[People] say parents are teaching their kids to look down on the masses because they’re poor. This isn’t true,” he writes. “What they’re teaching their kids is to see the world through the eyes of objective reality––the way society really is.”

If children understand wealth early on, they’ll be more likely to strive for it later in life.

14. Average people let money stress them out. Rich people find peace of mind in wealth.

The reason wealthy people earn more wealth is that they’re not afraid to admit that money can solve most problems, Siebold says.

“[The middle class] sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured as part of life. The world class sees money as the great liberator, and with enough of it, they are able to purchase financial peace of mind.”

15. Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained.

While the rich don’t put much stock in furthering wealth through formal education, they appreciate the power of learning long after college is over, Siebold says.

“Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” he writes.

“The middle class reads novels, tabloids and entertainment magazines.”

16. Average people think rich people are snobs. Rich people just want to surround themselves with like-minded people.

The negative money mentality poisoning the middle class is what keeps the rich hanging out with the rich, he says.

“[Rich people] can’t afford the messages of doom and gloom,” he writes. “This is often misinterpreted by the masses as snobbery.

Labeling the world class as snobs is another way the middle class finds to feel better bout themselves and their chosen path of mediocrity.”

17. Average people focus on saving. Rich people focus on earning.

Siebold theorizes that the wealthy focus on what they’ll gain by taking risks, rather than how to save what they have.

“The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities,” he writes.

“Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickle and dime thinking of the masses. They are the masters of focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money.”

18. Average people play it safe with money. Rich people know when to take risks.

“Leverage is the watchword of the rich,” Siebold writes.

“Every investor loses money on occasion, but the world class knows no matter what happens, they will aways be able to earn more.”

19. Average people love to be comfortable. Rich people find comfort in uncertainty.

For the most part, it takes guts to take the risks necessary to make it as a millionaire––a challenge most middle class thinkers aren’t comfortable living with.

“Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset,” Siebold writes.

World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.”

20. Average people never make the connection between money and health. Rich people know money can save your life.

While the middle class squabbles over the virtues of Obamacare and their company’s health plan, the super wealthy are enrolled in a super elite “boutique medical care” association, Siebold says.

“They pay a substantial yearly membership fee that guarantees them 24-hour access to a private physician who only serves a small group of members,” he writes.

“Some wealthy neighborhoods have implemented this strategy and even require the physician to live in the neighborhood.”

21. Average people believe they must choose between a great family and being rich. Rich people know you can have it all.

The idea the wealth must come at the expense of family time is nothing but a “cop-out”, Siebold says.

“The masses have been brainwashed to believe it’s an either/or equation,” he writes. “The rich know you can have anything you want if you approach the challenge with a mindset rooted in love and abundance.”

From Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think

Apart from money that is earmarked for bequests or the odd big ticket purchase, a sound strategy is to annuitize all of one’s wealth at about age 75. To understand why, let’s look at the minimum payout at age 75 under a RRIF. If the RRIF held $100,000 in assets at age 75, the minimum amount that would have to be withdrawn that year is $7,850. Many retirees are upset about this because they feel the minimum withdrawal rules force them to deplete their assets too quickly, especially in the current low-interest rate environment.

By contrast, an annuity that is purchased at age 75 with a single premium of $100,000 would produce annual income of about $10,000, in spite of low interest rates. Not only is this about $2,200 more than the minimum RRIF income, the annuity is payable for life and thus removes any chance your money will run out too soon. More income and less worry is a hard combination to beat.


By Lawrence Ian Geller,

For Advisors Only

September  5, 2012


By Fred Vettese

Financial Post

September 5, 2012