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Who doesn’t?  Everybody dreams of fine things and a comfortable retirement.  It just takes money.  But building wealth today – and far into the foreseeable future, will require a different skill set, and different strategies than those that served our parents over the last 50 years.  Let me offer three quick reasons why:

  1. Real Estate Windfalls – My parents bought the home I grew up in for $40,000 – and sold it 30 years later for $400,000.  That was pretty typical.  When they “downsized,” they paid cash, and put nearly $200,000 in their pockets – tax free.  Do you think that will happen for us?  All those “reverse mortgage” ads are running on TV for a reason?  Millions of seniors are tapping into, and living on the stored up equity that’s fallen into their laps.
  2. Uncooperative Stock Markets – Used to be, the stock market moved on corporate earnings and other factors advisors could research and predict.  Today, stock markets move on geo-political events like wars; and on international monetary events like European Debt.  All that makes individual stock market investing – even through mutual funds – a fool’s game – because you know instinctively, tomorrow could be the day we re-live the crash of 2008 all over again.
  3. Taxation – Every single traditional way of building wealth is subject to taxation whether its stocks, bonds, mutual funds, gold, 401ks and IRAs – all of it.  And with future taxes headed nowhere but up – our best case will be to take two steps forward – and one step back because of taxes.  Tax-free wealth will be the wave of the future.

So what’s an investor to do?  First, re-think your approach to wealth accumulation.  Put more emphasis on your “defensive” game plan – how do I avoid losing money – whether we call it market risk, taxes, and others like steadily increasing fees and commissions.  Second – stay tuned to the blog – answers are forthcoming.