FTM Quarterly www.ftmdaily.com
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FTM Investment Portfolio An Update from Jerry Robinson Building True Wealth Seminars: Jerry Robinson Around the Nation in 2011 7 Reasons Why “Prepping” Is For Everyone Make Sure You and Your Family Have a Safe Water Supply – No Matter What…With the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter
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Follow The Money Volume 3 Number 1
Social Security & Medicare: What You Need to Know Now How to Invest in Silver Seven Investment Themes for 2012 A Comparison Guide for Choosing An Email Marketing Service To Grow Your Business
Introducing the FTM Financial Philosophy
Here at FTM Quarterly, we hold some firm beliefs about how to build a financial plan that will stand the test of time. Below is a graphic representation of how we view a solid financial game plan. Note that each level is color coded. We will categorize many of our articles using these levels in each edition of FTM Quarterly to help you know the focus of the article.
An Update from Jerry Robinson Welcome to our Winter 2012 issue of FTMQuarterly!
But it’s not all “doom and gloom” in 2012. I expect that we will be helping many of you become better investors, start your own online businesses, and more. Just because the world is falling apart does not mean that there are not opportunities available for those with their eyes open.
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday in 2011. My family and I had a great time on our break. My wife and I left our home in Texas to visit family in Arkansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma... all by car! Needless to say, while we really enjoyed seeing family and friends, it was good to get back home after driving around the country!
New Developments at FTMDaily
Here at FTMDaily.com, you will begin noticing some new things in 2012. I have always said that there are four kinds of people in this world when it comes to financial matters:
So how was your 2011? Did you reach any goals that you had set for yourself?
1. Those who have money and no time.
What achievements are you proud of?
2. Those who have time but no money.
Like most people, I like to look back at the end of the year to celebrate accomplishments and to learn from any trials.
3. Those who have both time and money. 4. Those who have no time or money.
Overall, 2011 was a very good year for my family and me. We are continuing to work on our financial game plan, create new streams of income, improve our health, and most importantly, to focus on our spiritual lives.
Admittedly, I cannot help those who fall into that fourth category. Through my years of financial consulting, I have found that those who claim that they have no time or money suffer from an extreme form of misplaced priorities. That is not a life skill that I can impart through consulting, so I am therefore limited to working with individuals in the first three categories.
Like most, I have made my share of mistakes. However, living is a continual learning process. And if we commit ourselves to constant improvement, the quality of our lives will also improve.
So let’s discuss each of them briefly.
So, 2011 was certainly an interesting year. I will not bore you with a long recap of the financial news in 2011. However, I will say that, while 2011 was wild financially speaking, I believe that 2012 will be even more interesting.
1. Those who have money but not a lot of time. These are corporate executives, successful business owners, and other similar types. Often the price tag of their high level of income is their lack of time. Would it surprise you to learn that many people who earn a high income are often not very good investors? It’s true. In fact, some of the worst investors I have ever met are the highest income earners, including doctors and attorneys. Why? If you guessed this is because they have very little time, you are partially right. While this is not the only reason, it is one of the most significant.
My Forecast for 2012
- I expect Europe to continue making headlines. However, they will experience some relief by mid-year.
- The U.S. Dollar will fall in response to the relief rally in the Euro.
- Gold, silver, palladium, and specifically, platinum, oil,
and some agricultural commodities will rise sharply as the dollar continues its long-term downward decline.
- I expect that President Barack Obama will win his re-
election bid, unless Ron Paul is able to secure the Republican Presidential nomination. If it is Obama vs. Romney, flip a coin. Either way, without the monetary prowess of someone like Ron Paul, the inevitable decline continues.
For these individuals, FTMDaily.com will be offering investor education. This will come in the form of our weekly conference call, this newsletter, and some upcoming online video tutorials that are specifically designed to teach basic and advanced concepts of investing. You may have noticed that we have already started this education in our weekly conference call with our teachings on the basics of stock trading.
3. Those who have both time and money. These are
Upcoming investor education topics include:
the people that are hard not to envy. Obviously, we would all like to be in this position in our golden years, but, in reality, how many retirees have no money worries?
- Introduction to Stock Trading
- Introduction to Swing Trading
- Introduction to Technical Analysis (which is
Well, we don’t have to guess.
basically how to read a stock chart)
According to the Federal Government’s own numbers, an overwhelming majority (over 95%) of Americans reach the age of 65 still dependent on friends, family, and/or the Federal government for their daily needs.
- Introduction to Annuities
- Introduction to Forex Trading (Foreign Currency Trading)
- Introduction to Options Trading (This will be
That is a staggering number, isn’t it?
I want you to beat the odds. And better than that, I can show you how.
- Introduction to Exchange Traded Funds
- Introduction to Life Insurance Strategies
My wife and I are on a mission to help people wake up to the consumption trap that ensnares so many people.
- Introduction to Tax Lien Investing
- Introduction to Real Estate Investing
Whether you are still in your working years, or are in retirement, we want to teach you how to create multiple streams of income… right now.
2. Those who have time but not a lot of money. There
are many different types of individuals who fall into this category. This list includes those will low level stress jobs with plenty of time in the evening, parttime employees, retirees, the unemployed, etc. We have all heard the old saying “time is money.” This is really true.
How does a man’s life improve when he has both free time and ample amounts of income coming in from multiple sources? That man is free…
For these individuals, FTMDaily.com will be offering a series of educational resources to help them leverage the power of multiple streams of income. It will take some time, but if that is all that you have, FTMDaily.com can show you how to trade it for multiple income streams. Much of our own expertise lies in leveraging the power of the internet, which is a powerful wealth builder. The very first tutorial we have created on this topic is Email Marketing 101.
Free to pursue his interests.
Free to spend more quality time with his family.
And most importantly, free to pursue his God-given mission. Each of us has been placed on this earth for a very specific reason. Why are you here? What is your specific mission?
Upcoming online business education topics include:
This is hard to discover when you are ensnared in the modern consumption trap, mired in debt, and enslaved to a single stream of income.
- How to Set up Your Own Website
- How to Make Money with Amazon
In 2012, my wife and I know that our mission is to help you become free, to help you become a better investor, and to help you create multiple streams of income.
- How to Make Money with Google
- How to Make Money with Your Own Referral Service
Every day, we are fulfilling our mission and our purpose.
- How to Turn Your Passions into Profits
So how can we help you? We are always just an email or a phone call away.
- Introduction to Online Market Research - How to Succeed in Direct Marketing
Have You Been Using Our New Stock Watch Insiders about their success in using this list. Trading List Service?
If you are not familiar with all of the language in the chart below (like MACD and RSI), don’t worry, because I have you covered. Just tune in to our weekly conference calls on Wednesday (or watch the replays in our archives) to get up to speed.
I have been trading stocks for profit since 1996. During those 15 years, I have read all kinds of books and have attended many expensive training seminars.
What I have noticed from my years of trading is that to achieving success requires committing yourself to two things:
I was checking out the recent performance of some of our stock picks in our January Stock Watch List and wanted to share. All of these picks were called on January 5, 2012 and were calculated as of the morning of January 17.
1. A good education on technical analysis and trading psychology (which is available free of charge if you have a public library card).
2. A personal set of trading rules which you NEVER
January Stock Watch List Update
(and I mean, ever) violate.
Here’s a copy of our latest stock watch list for the month of January.
Unless you are trading with a group that you are accountable to, you must police your own actions when it comes to your stock trading. This requires a lot of self-discipline and commitment.
- We called SILVER (the physical metal) a strong buy under $30. It has since moved from $29.17 to $30.40. I bought some
Stocks to Watch - January 2012 TICKER
N/A SLW CHK CCJ RVBD MERKX STMP TEVA APA HLF LULU GDXJ POT ATPG
Physical Silver Silver Wheaton Chesapeake Energy Cameco Corp RiverBed Technology Merk Hard Currency Fund Stamps.com Teva Pharmaceuticals Apache Corp Herbalife Ltd. Luluemon Athletica Market Vectors Junior Gold Potash ATP Oil and Gas Corp
$29.17 $30.87 $23.60 $18.83 $26.05 $11.89 $25.55 $43.77 $96.95 $51.42 $52.13 $25.91 $43.19 $7.46
1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012
Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Under $30 Watch 20 DMA Watch 20 DMA Watch 50 DMA $26.10 $11.95 Break Above 50 DMA Watch 200 DMA Watch 50 DMA Watch 20 DMA Bounce off 200 DMA $26.13 Watch 50 DMA Bounce off 20 DMA
N/A 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry Watch MACD - 3% below entry $11.70 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry 2% below entry
$2.07 $4.53 $7.80 $1.91
1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012 1/5/2012
Y N Y N
Y N N Y
N/A N/A Watching MACD Watching 200 DMA
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Other Stocks I am Just Watching AONE OSIR ZAGG SIRI
A123 Systems, Inc. Osiris Therapeutics Zagg, Inc. Sirius XM Radio
For those stock traders (and traders-in-training) in our FTM Insider community, I created a new member service: Our monthly stock watch list.
more while it was under $30. =) (4.2% increase in 12 days)
- We called SLW a buy if it showed support at its 20 day moving average. It did and has now moved higher, up nearly $1.00 to $31.80. (3% increase in 12 days)
This monthly list of stocks is basically a “cheat sheet” for you to use when looking for a stock or stocks to trade. It is my personal stock watch list that I use for trading. I have been creating these stock watch lists for my own benefit for years. Last October, I decided to begin sharing my trading ideas directly with our FTM Insiders as an added bonus. We immediately began receiving great feedback from some of our FTM
- We called CHK a buy if it showed support at its 20 day moving average. It did not and, therefore, failed to trigger. (No trigger)
- We called CCJ a buy if it could break its 50 day moving average. It did and triggered at around $18.90. It is now at
$21.66. (14.6% increase in 12 days)
- We called RVBD a buy if it reached a trigger price of $26.10. It triggered on Jan. 9 and is now at $26.97. (3.33% increase in 12 days)
There were four other stocks on our January watch list that I told you I was just watching but had no plans to enter. They were:
- We called MERKX a buy if it reached a trigger price of $11.95. It has not yet reached its trigger price. (No trigger)
- AONE… Up from $2.07 to $2.37 (14.5% increase in 12 days)
- We called STMP a buy if it broke through its 50 day moving average. It did on Jan. 11 at around $26.65. It is now up at around $29.00. (8.8% increase in 12 days)
- OSIR… Up from $4.53 to $4.81 (6.2% increase in 12 days)
- ZAGG… Up from $7.80 to $8.24 (5.6% increase in 12 days)
- We called TEVA a buy if it found support at its 200 day moving average. But since it never retreated back to its 200 day moving average it never triggered for me. (No trigger) (Seeing a rising stock pull back is important to me before I buy, as I don’t like to chase a stock upwards. I have been burned too many times doing that in the past. Learn from my mistakes and play it safe.)
- SIRI… Up from $1.91 to $2.17 (13.6% increase in 12 days)
An Update on the Coming Asian Union
China is causing a lot of indigestion in the West. Despite years of the globalists attempting to get China to behave like a good global citizen, it just isn’t working. China likes to play by its own rules.
- I called APA a buy if it found support at its 50 day moving average by bouncing off of it. But, instead of bouncing off of it, the stock price failed to find support there. However, watch it closely as it may be finding support at its 20 day moving average. If it bounces off of its 20 day moving average, I will be paying close attention. (No trigger)
- I called HLF a buy if it could break through its 20 day moving average. It did on Jan. 9 at $52.30. The stock exploded to the upside and is currently at around $55.84. (6.77% increase in 12 days)
- I called LULU a buy if it could find support at its 200 day moving average. The stock has performed amazingly well since we added it to the watch list at a price of $52.13. It is now at $62.25 in just 12 days. However, its explosive upward movement occurred too quickly for it to be considered a “safe” play according to my standards. While I am still watching the stock, I will not chase it, as many a poor trader has been shipwrecked chasing “hot” stocks. (No trigger)
China’s large pool of low-cost labor, its flagrant human rights violations, and its failure to worship at the altar of Washington D.C. are just a few of the reasons that China is the globe’s biggest social outcast. Yet, what would we do without China? The cheap electronics that we are all now addicted to… MADE IN CHINA.
- I called GDXJ a buy if it reached a trigger price of $26.13. It triggered on Jan. 9. It is sitting at $27 per share this morning. (3.33% increase in 12 days)
The brand name clothing that fills much of our nation’s shopping centers… MADE IN CHINA.
- I called POT a buy if it could break its 50 day moving average. It did on Jan. 9. A good entry price would have been around $41.79 with a stop of around $40.95 (2% below your entry price). The stock is now trading at $45.70. (9.5% increase in 12 days)
Even the American flags that we love to proudly display at our homes, offices, and vehicles… MADE IN CHINA. It is a sad truth that every time you and I spend money at Wal-Mart we are indirectly funding the massive Chinese military build-up. (Nothing against Wal-Mart. I like their stock and their dividend!)
- I called ATPG a buy if it could find support at its 20 day moving average. It is there now. And it is hard to tell which way it is going to go. My trigger price for entry right now is $7.06 with a stop price of $6.91 (2% below your entry price.) (No trigger) 5
Blame it on our nation’s failed debt-based monetary system. It may look good from afar, but when you see it up close, it is grotesque. It has become a heavy albatross on our nation’s shoulders.
Europe is no different.
I cannot overstate how important this point is. (Understanding this “permission slip to print dollars” concept was what my book, Bankruptcy of our Nation, was all about.)
So how embarrassing it was in late 2011 when a surplusheavy China showed up amid the Eurozone debt crisis offering bailout money. Friends, it has become the height of irony that China is pulling the purse strings. And as I have been saying for years, this is our inevitable path. The debt-ridden West is giving way to an empowered East. This includes the Middle East, as well as other frontier nations in Africa.
If you simply understand that the primary economic incentive of the United States government is to maintain the global demand for dollars, things will begin to fall into place. It is not about helping those less fortunate.
It has never been about spreading democracy to the world.
While it is true that the economic crisis has come as a result of global economic imbalances, the origins of this ongoing economic crisis are not global. This crisis originated in the West. Of course its impact has been felt around the globe.
It is not really about defeating terrorism. It is not about leveling the economic playing field.
By no means do I believe that the East will be spared from the coming global currency crisis. To the contrary, the coming crisis will rock the nations to their very core. But some nations will fare better than others.
There are no truly altruistic motives in capitalism (or whatever Washington calls our economic system these days… try socialism).
Just remember that the United States seeks to remain the pre-eminent economic power on the world’s stage. And the primary incentive of the United States is to maintain the global demand for U.S. dollars.
Most economists believe that Asia (ex-Japan) will grow at about a 7% rate in 2012. While this number represents a slowdown from the headier double-digit growth days, is 7% really that bad? The U.S. will be lucky to get a 3% growth rate in GDP this year. And forget about Europe in 2012.
So, much lies ahead in 2012. We will be keeping our eyes on the economy and will be updating you all along the way through our many podcasts, educational webinars, the weekly conference call, and our new series of online video tutorials.
The point is this. Nations that actually produce (think Asia and South America) will do better than those who simply consume (think America and much of Western Europe.)
Despite the coming crisis, we will continue to see pockets of economic growth around the globe. Much of this growth will be found in nations that are “hard to pronounce.” And many of them will be Asian.
So enjoy this quarter’s newsletter. There’s a lot of great information in here from many of our friends, including precious metals advisor, Tom Cloud, and my stock advisor, Jay Peroni. Happy New Year!
In the end, this rise of Eastern economies will lead to an Asian economic and political union which will very much resemble the European Union. And just as Europe’s currency union was decades in the making, so too has there been a long buildup to such an Asian nation.
A major step towards Asian economic integration was taken over the Christmas holidays when both Japan and China announced that they would begin directly trading their currencies without using U.S. dollars. By cutting out the use of U.S. Dollars in currency transactions between the two nations, the global demand for the U.S. currency will be further diminished. Why does this matter?
Put simply, our entire debt-based monetary system has been built on the assumption that foreigners NEED our dollars.
This global demand for our currency gives the United States Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve a “permission slip” to supply more dollars through the money creation process.
Building True Wealth Seminars: Jerry Robinson Around the Nation in 2011 Building True Wealth Seminars: Jerry Robinson Around the Nation in 2011
Hundreds of families’ lives were changed all across the country this year after hearing the message of how to build lasting financial and spiritual freedom. Jerry Robinson and the FTMDaily team brought the “Building True Wealth” financial seminar to five different cities during 2011. Attendees learned vitally important information through a series of five, high-impact, hourlong sessions.
Many attendees commented to our team that they felt equipped and empowered to achieve financial freedom after they attended the seminar. They felt a sense of purpose to their financial lives. Of course, the most Jerry Robinson and FTM Insider Damon Dyas at Building True popular session in every city was the “Five Levels of Wealth in Detroit, MI (November 19, 2011) Financial Freedom”. In this segment, Jerry describes in detail the path from Level One to Level Five, including real and practical suggestions on saving money, precious metals investing, foreign currencies, charitable giving, business creation ideas, and much more! Attendees were also given the rare opportunity to ask Jerry Robinson all their questions about money, business, investing, and where the economy is headed. Each Building True Wealth seminar includes Q&A sessions all throughout the seminar, as well as unique opportunities to speak with Jerry one-on-one. As an added bonus for our attendees, Retirement Specialist John Bearss joined us and answered many retirement and financial planning questions.
Needless to say, we had a wonderful experience everywhere we went. Each and every church was prepared and anxious for the wealth of information brought to them at the seminar. Everyone at FTMDaily would like to say “thank you” to our host churches and to every attendee for the warm welcome we received. We look forward to being back at many of those churches in 2012, as well as adding new destinations to our Jerry Robinson, wife Jennifer, and Retirement Specialist John calendar! Bearss after the final session in Pineville, PA (May 1, 2011) If you are interested in bringing the Building True Wealth seminar to your church or business, please visit our Building True Wealth page to find out more.
7 Reasons Why “Prepping” Is For Everyone by Jennifer Robinson
Preparing for crisis situations is one of those topics that raises controversy. Some people are die-hard “preppers”, while others remain skeptical of the whole concept. Whether you are sold on preparing, just sticking your toe in the water, or extremely cynical of the value of preparing, we believe that planning and being ready for any situation is vital to your financial freedom. Here are seven reasons why getting prepared is for everyone.
4. Your loved ones depend on you. Unless you don’t have parents, children, siblings, or grandparents, you probably have at least a few people in your life that depend on you to make wise decisions in the area of preparation. Especially if you are married and/or have children, you must begin to think about their survival and well-being during natural disasters, unemployment, unexpected events, and even economic chaos. Is it worth it to you to know that they are taken care of if the worst events were to occur? Then take $200 and stock up on some food and water and basic supplies in your home. It will bring peace of mind that is priceless.
1. Natural disasters are not slowing down. In 2011 alone, we saw the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, deadly tornadoes all across the United States killing hundreds, and massive wildfires across the southern U.S. These are only a fraction of the natural disasters that the world’s population experienced. It is a good idea to assess the types of natural disasters in your area of residence and begin to prepare for the worst. A good place to start is FEMA.gov for national information, as well as links to state and local natural disaster information.
Not only do you need to think about your loved ones’ wellbeing, but you can care for your family by turning preparation efforts into fun, family events. Yes, I said fun! Instead of watching television or being glued to the iphone all evening, round up the family and pretend that the electricity has gone out. What would you do? How would you perform basic tasks like cooking, washing, heating, cooling, and others? Not only can you have fun with this sort of activity, but it is a wonderful teaching tool for your family so that everyone can be prepared.
2. Growing economic concerns. Unemployment is at record highs, the U.S. dollar has lost 27% of its value over the past decade, and the national debt has soared over $15 trillion recently. With the Federal Reserve pumping in money at record speeds, it is no surprise that inflation is on the rise and will be hurting many individuals and families in the coming years. With this knowledge, doesn’t it make sense to have some food and water on hand? Even cultivating your own garden and producing some food on your own is a smart idea. Also, having savings on hand to get you through a period of unemployment is essential in this economic environment.
5. Unexpected events happen in your life. Have you ever been driving in the middle of nowhere and blown a tire? What if you need to stay overnight somewhere unexpectedly? There are hundreds of scenarios that could happen to anyone. And you could probably never list all of these types of events because, by nature, they are unexpected. No one is immune to these experiences, which is why it is important to have a “Go Bag”, both at home and in your vehicle. Furthermore, having savings in the bank reduces the stress level during these situations as well.
3. Unemployment can strike at any time. The official unemployment rate as of December 2 was 8.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many experts, including John Williams at shadowstats.com, would say that the actual unemployment rate is between 16% and 23%. These broader numbers include workers who have stopped looking for work or who have taken part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work. Therefore it is highly likely that 1 out of 5 adults able to work are unemployed or underemployed. With the debt loads, mortgages, and lifestyles that many Americans carry, this 20% chance of losing your income (or having it reduced drastically) is a stress that can be overwhelming.
Because of the unemployment monster that looms everincreasingly over our heads, it just makes sense to have a minimum of 2 months’ food and water on hand and 2 months of your gross income in savings.
6. You will be able to help others during crises. Many individuals in this country are living paycheck to paycheck sinking fast into debt. They can barely pay their bills let alone prepare for the future. But because you are an informed and prepared individual, you can help others during a time of crisis. Of course, there are beneficial methods of offering aid to friends and neighbors during disastrous times, as well as methods you may want to avoid. For example, you may want to give aid anonymously when times get bad. If people know that you have a stockpile of food, and they have starving families, they may take drastic measures to get your stockpile. There are many tips on how to offer help to others during times of crisis…look for more in depth information in an upcoming issue! 8
Since preparing allows you to help others in need, you can
add these activities to your Charitable Giving Plan if you wish. The Charitable Giving Plan is also part of Level One within the Five Levels of Financial Freedom (read more about the Charitable Giving Plan in last quarter’s issue).
✔✔ Create a Charitable Giving Plan – for a full explanation and step-by-step guide, see the Fall 2011 issue.
7. There are no do-overs when a time of crisis strikes. The insurance industry has a saying that there are no do-overs when it comes to setting up proper insurance. When is the perfect time to buy life insurance? Six months before you die, of course. However, the unexpected could happen at any time. When is the perfect time to stock up your food and water? A week before you need it. But no one can time nature or the economy this accurately. And when a crisis strikes, whether it is a hurricane or a job loss, you cannot go back and save up two months of your income. You cannot go back and stock up food and water when you are hungry and trying to survive. The time is now.
✔✔ Create a “Go Bag” – this is a kit that has everything you need to survive for 72 hours away from the conveniences of civilization. ✔✔ Create 3 months of food and water supplies. ✔✔ Begin a systematic savings plan – begin where you can. ✔✔ Build 2 months of your gross income in savings.
If you desire to be financially free, then get on the path. Begin with Level One, which is mostly based on preparation. You cannot be financially free if you find yourself without food, water, or basic necessities. If you want to get started now, here are the basic steps in Level One.
Make Sure You and Your Family Have a Safe Water Supply – No Matter What… …With the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter
Having access to clean water is something that is easy to take for granted. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, like a hiker or a backpacker, an international traveler, or just someone who wants to be prepared, having a portable and effective water filtration system is vital. For those who are seeking to prepare for the worst by building a food and water supply for themselves and their families, we highly recommend the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter.
Katadyn water filters. Even the U.S. military uses the Katadyn water filter in their various expeditions. (And many other militaries do for this matter.)
We don’t know of a better portable water filter on the market anywhere near this price. If you want the best water filter that your money can buy, look no further than the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter.
Of all of the water filters that we have seen on the market, this one is the most effective. While it may seem a bit pricey, it is worth every penny. Unlike disposable water filters, the Katadyn is made with heavy duty materials with a special ceramic element that can be easily cleaned over and over again. In fact, this filter is designed to filter 13,000 gallons of water! And to our knowledge, this is the only water filter of its size that comes with a 20 year warranty. A little bit about the filter itself: it stands 10 inches tall and is about 2 1/2 inches wide. It weighs about 20 ounces when empty. Katadyn claims that this filter can filter and pump approximately 1 quart (32 ounces) of water per minute. In our test, we found this to be about right. Around the world, health organizations and outdoors enthusiasts rely upon
Social Security & Medicare: What You Need to Know Now
The Social Security Administration has announced that for the first time since 2009, a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be paid to Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Monthly benefits will increase 3.6% starting in January 2012 for Social Security beneficiaries and starting on December 30, 2011, for SSI recipients. According to the Social Security Administration, the average increase in monthly benefits will be approximately $43.
$578 per day for stays beyond 90 days, up from $566 in 2011.
• Beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities will pay a daily co-insurance amount of $144.50 for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period, up from $141.50 in 2011.
To view the Medicare fact sheet announcing 2012 figures, visit www.cms.gov.
Despite many media reports predicting that the Social Security COLA increase would be offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be $99.90 in 2012, $15.50 less than in 2011. However, because the premium for most Medicare beneficiaries has been frozen at $96.40 (the premium rate in 2008) for the past three years, premiums for most people will increase by $3.50 in 2012. Beneficiaries who have higher incomes (a modified adjusted gross income of more than $85,000 for an individual or $170,000 for a couple) will pay more than $99.90 because they are required to pay an income-related surcharge.
A Strategy to help Reduce Income Taxes on Your Social Security Benefit Income
I have provided you all the previous information to make you aware of what is coming, as well as to offer you some guidance in reducing the taxes you pay on your Social Security Benefit Income. If you do not understand how the IRS calculation determines whether or not you will pay taxes on your Social Security Benefit Income, I can tell you right now you will pay more in taxes than necessary.
So the question becomes, “How do I control the amount of taxes I pay?” You might be saying to yourself, “I am tired of paying income taxes on my Social Security Benefit Income, and I want to keep what they give me.” The solution for most people is learning how to control your Reportable Income. Controlling your Reportable Income will substantially help you reduce the taxes on your Social Security Benefit Income.
While costs vary, the average premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2012 is estimated at around $30, approximately the same as in 2011. And Medicare Advantage premiums will be 4% lower, on average, in 2012 than in 2011, according to CMS.
So what is Reportable Income? Reportable Incomes are all of the following:
Here are some other important Social Security figures for 2012:
Normal earned income - if you have a job and are getting paid, this income is reportable.
➪➪ The maximum taxable earnings limit will be $110,100 ($106,800 in 2011).
1. Business income
➪➪ The retirement earnings test exempt amount for beneficiaries under full retirement age will be $14,640 per year ($14,160 in 2011).
2. Unemployment compensation 3. Farm income
The retirement earnings test exempt amount for beneficiaries in the year full retirement age is reached will be $38,880 per year ($37,680 in 2011).
4. Capital gains
5. IRA distributions
Here are some other important Medicare figures for 2012:
6. Pension distributions
• The Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, down from $162 in 2011.
• The Medicare Part A deductible for inpatient hospitalization will be $1,156, up from $1,132 in 2011. Beneficiaries will pay an additional $289 per day for days 61 through 90, up from $283 in 2011, and
7. Rental income 8. Royalties
9. Partnerships 10
10. S Corporations
We have just learned what reportable income is, but what levels of Reportable Income will trigger a tax on your Social Security Benefit Income? If you are a single taxpayer and have reportable income over $34,000, or if you are married filing jointly and have reportable income over $44,000, then 85% of the Social Security Benefit Income that you receive will be taxed at your taxable rate.
12. Half of your Social Security Benefit Income
But for most retirees, the following are the factors that substantially increase Reportable Income:
1. Investments that create a 1099 Interest Statement – found on line 8a of the 1040 US Tax Form. These kinds of investments would include interest on checking accounts, savings accounts, CD’s, Money Market Accounts, etc.
Controlling your Reportable Income is the key to controlling the amount of income taxes you will pay.
2. Investments that create a 1099 Dividend Statement – found on line 9 of the 1040 US Tax Form. These kinds of investments would include Mutual fund investments, stocks, bonds, etc.
There are many factors to consider when determining the best way to reduce your taxes on your Social Security Benefit Income. So it is wise to take some time to plan some tax strategies that will help you accomplish this goal. Consider consulting a financial planner that has expertise in the field of tax planning strategies, along with your CPA, and you might be surprised at how much you actually can reduce your tax liability.
3. Here is an interesting one – even the interest earned on Tax-Free Municipal bonds. Even though you do not pay income taxes on this interest, the interest is still reportable as income. This number is reported on line 8b of the 1040 US Tax form.
How to Invest in Silver By: Tom Cloud, Precious Metals Advisor
The physical silver market provides investors a variety of products. The choice of silver bullion product is largely a matter of the investor’s goals and resources. Particular silver investment products serve primarily as a store of value while others serve both as a store of value and could be used as money to be spent should barter become necessary as many people fear. Varying “premiums” (which include dealer premiums and commissions, all shipping costs and insurance) and IRA regulations are also important to consider when deciding between the different vehicles. Currently, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows silver to be included in a self directed IRA if certain rules are followed.
commissions, all shipping costs and insurance) over the spot price of silver. Generally, an additional per ounce “premium” is levied for half-dollars over dimes or quarters due to the higher silver content, consumer preferences and the fact that fewer half-dollars were minted than dimes or quarters. This additional per ounce “premium” varies depending on market conditions.
There are several advantages when acquiring junk bags of silver. First, the bag carries a low per ounce “premium” (which includes dealer premiums and commissions, all shipping costs and insurance) over spot price when compared to other silver investments. Second, junk silver was produced by the U.S. government and is U.S. legal tender. Third, junk silver is internationally recognized as a trading medium and therefore, highly liquid. Finally, junk silver is divisible, providing small increments when used for exchange. Bags of junk silver are NOT currently allowed in self directed IRA’s. For purposes of barter, I recommend dimes or quarters.
JUNK SILVER BAGS
One of the most popular ways to invest in silver is the 90% U.S. “bag” of junk silver. The word “junk” refers only to the value of the coins as a bullion investment and not to the actual condition of the coins. These bags contain coins with a 90% silver composition (“coin silver”) and consist of U.S. dimes, quarters, and half-dollars dated 1964 or earlier. Each bag contains approximately 715 troy ounces of actual silver with a face value of $1000. Bags can be purchased in the following sizes: one-quarter, onehalf, three quarters or full bag of silver.
An investor should expect to pay a $1.30 to $1.50 per ounce “premium” (which includes dealer premiums and
ONE OUNCE SILVER ROUNDS
Depending upon the source, a “silver round” can be defined in numerous ways. Here, I use the term “silver round” when referring to any one ounce silver bullion coin that contains .999 (99.9%) fine silver.
PRIVATELY MINTED SILVER ROUNDS
Privately-minted Silver Rounds are an inexpensive and
convenient way to own silver. They are popular because of their varying appearances and low relative per ounce “premiums” (which, again, include dealer premiums and commissions, all shipping costs and insurance). They are called “privately-minted” because they are manufactured by a private mint (i.e. Johnson Matthay, Engelhard, Credit Suisse and many other recognized smaller mints). Including a per ounce “premium”, prices are generally $1.75 to $2.00 over the spot price of silver. While per ounce “premiums” vary depending on the particular mint and market demand, privately minted silver rounds have their weight and purity (.999 fine) stamped on them, making them easy to identify and to sell or exchange. Currently, I consider these coins to be the best buy if desiring your investment to serve as both a store of value (a purely “investment medium”) and a medium of exchange (as “money”). Privately minted silver rounds are not considered legal tender and vary in design. Privately minted silver rounds are NOT currently allowed in self directed IRA’s.
Junk Silver Bags: Pros: + “premium”: currently $1.30 to $1.50 over spot + Easily recognized globallyhighly liquid + Legal tender
+ Divisible into small increments
+ When purchased from me, per ounce “premium” is the same for all orders, regardless of “bag” size Cons:
- Not currently allowed in U.S. self directed IRA’s - Relatively difficult to store/transport
GOVERNMENT MINTED SILVER ROUNDS
Many countries — including the United States, Canada, and Austria - mint official legal tender silver coins with .999 purity. The Silver American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf and Austrian Philharmonic are all one-ounce silver coins. When compared to privately minted coins, they do carry a higher per ounce “premium” since they are issued by governments. Currently the Silver American Eagle has a per ounce “premium” of approximately $2.85 to $3.25 over the silver spot price. Normally, both the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf and the Austrian Philharmonic are priced below the American Silver Eagles but higher than the privately minted Silver Rounds. When choosing government minted coins, it is important to consider both the higher per ounce “premium” (which includes dealer premiums and commissions, all shipping costs and insurance) when purchasing, and the fact that these government issued coins lose a little more of their per ounce “premium” when compared to other forms of physical silver upon liquidation. Many investors prefer these coins due to the fact that they are globally recognized as a form of legal tender and ARE currently allowed in self directed (U.S.) IRA’s.
Privately Minted Pros: + “premium”: currently $1.75 to $2.00 over spot
+ Easy to identifyrelatively easy to sell or exchange Cons:
- Not legal tender
- Not currently allowed in U.S. self directed IRA’s Government Minted Pros:
+ Legal tender
+ Considered to have physical “beauty”
+ Currently allowed in U.S. self directed IRA’s Cons:
Silver bars are available in numerous sizes ranging from one ounce to over 1,000 ounces and are issued by major refiners. When only considering silver as an investment medium, rather than one with exchange potential, these bars provide an excellent store of value. Similarly to gold bullion, silver bars can be held within a fungible program and the investor is never required to take possession of this heavy metal. The per ounce “premium” is relatively low and ranges from $0.70 to $1.70 over the silver spot price. Silver bars with recognized hallmarks are preferred as they are more readily accepted for resale, making them more liquid. Additionally, they (depending on the refiner) are currently allowed in self directed (U.S.) IRA’s.
- “premium”: currently $2.85 to $3.25 over spot - Lose more value upon liquidation Silver Bars: Pros: + “premium”: currently $0.70 to $1.70 over spot 12
+ Size, uniformity great for purely investment (store of value) purposes
+ Currently allowed in U.S. self directed IRA’s (**Dependent on the refiner**) Cons:
- Not legal tender
- Relatively inconvenient for barter (becomes more pronounced with larger sizes) Tom Cloud is the Chairman of the Board of Turamali, Inc. and has been advising clients on precious metals and other hard assets since 1977. His weekly “Precious Metals Market Update” is heard by thousands of people each week on the Follow the Money Radio Show. His long and successful advisory track record in both financial planning and tangible assets and thorough knowledge of the products he recommends has attracted an impressive list of individuals and major institutions from across the United States. He believes in combining his knowledge of scripture with his knowledge of investing. To speak directly with Mr. Cloud for a free telephone consultation, simply call him direct at (800) 247-2812. You can also email him at email@example.com.
Seven Investment Themes for 2012 By Jay Peroni, CFP®, Chief Investment Officer • FAITH-BASED INVESTOR
THEME 1: ENERGY DEMAND WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE… Why energy?
• New techniques for extracting natural gas and crude-oil from the earth have helped ease concerns about the inability of U.S.-based energy producers to grow domestic supply and offset the country’s heavy dependence on foreign sources for these commodities.
The growing need for energy is a trend that will last for a long time:
• These unconventional new drilling techniques have lowered the overall cost structure for companies engaged in the exploration of traditional energy sources, such as crude oil and natural gas.
• More-productive drilling techniques have led to an overall increase in mid-continent U.S. oil production, which has led to lower pricing for refiners. BEST IDEAS: USO, OIL, NOV, OXY, NBL, TCP
THEME 2: DIVIDENDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTANT… Why dividend paying stocks?
• Companies paying a dividend allow you as an investor to make money two ways: capital gains and quarterly cash flow.
Stable dividend paying companies should continue to see • Companies that pay a dividend should continue to hold strong demand as a fight to safety continues in 2012: up better than those that don’t pay a dividend. • Look for companies with strong balance sheets, low debt, and a history of raising dividends. 3%+ dividends are attractive for income investors. BEST IDEAS: CEL, NLY, VTR, NHI, NSH
Seven Investment Themes for 2012 THEME 3: STRONG AGRICULTURAL DEMAND…
Agriculture We will continue to see a major rise in global food consumption:
Why agriculture? • The rising global population is contributing to a substantial increase in food consumption and demand, particularly from emerging markets. • The proliferation of biofuels is another major driver of agriculture demand, and higher prices as well.
• A dwindling supply of arable land is compounding the demand challenges, but creating opportunities for companies that can provide more efficient ways to grow and harvest crops. BEST IDEAS: CF, DBA, POT, SQM, DE, CAT
THEME 4: GLOBAL EXPANSION
Why multi-national staples?
• With 70%–80% of the world’s population living in developing countries, emerging markets have been a growth area for many consumer staples companies.
Companies who offer recession proof products around the globe should continue to thrive!
• As per-capita wealth has risen in these emerging economies, goods considered staples in developed countries have become universal needs and wants. • With the increase in global consumption, staples companies have great opportunities to increase their market volumes and accelerate their earnings growth rates. BEST IDEAS: KMB, CL, HRL, SJM
Seven Investment Themes for 2012 THEME 5: PEOPLE ALWAYS NEED MEDICINE…
Health Care Why health care?
The growing need for health care is a universal theme around the globe!
• Aging populations in developed countries will need more health care.
• As emerging markets adopt modern medical practices, their consumption of health care will increase. • Growing global utilization may benefit providers of lowcost, high-volume health care products that will be demanded in both developed and developing countries. BEST IDEAS: ABT, BIIB, NVO, GILD
THEME 6: FIAT CURRENCIES WILL CONTINUE THEIR DECLINE…
Back to a gold standard?
• With the U.S. government deep in debt, some are calling for gold to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency.
Massive deficits and a deep financial crisis could push us closer to a new global currency!
• For the first time in several decades, central banks around the world recently became net buyers of gold. • Although silver is a precious metal like gold, it doesn’t have gold’s strategic reserve currency status. Nevertheless, it can perform similarly under the right conditions. BEST IDEAS: Physical gold, GLD, physical silver, & SIVR
Seven Investment Themes for 2012 THEME 7: GOT TO KEEP THE HEAT ON…
Utilities Stricter environmental regulations, abundant low cost natural gas, and strong yields make utilities a strong sector for 2012.
Regulations: • The recent approval of stricter clean air regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is likely to force certain utilities operating coal-fired power plants to install costly technology and equipment to comply with these new standards. • Many electric utility providers may find it cost-prohibitive to retrofit older or smaller coal-fired units and cheaper to simply shut down these units, a development that could lead to a 4.5%-5.0% reduction in overall generating capacity in the United States.
• A loss of capacity of this magnitude is likely to cause the marginal cost of power to rise over time, with the primary beneficiaries being utilities whose fleets are comprised of nuclear, natural-gas-fired and environmentally compliant coal-fired plants.
Natural Gas: • New technologies that extract natural gas from shale rock formations in the earth have led to an abundant supply and lower prices for the commodity.
• As a result of these dynamics, the U.S. is going to increasingly become more reliant on natural gas as a source of energy.
• Utility companies that currently use natural gas to produce power are well positioned to benefit from this long-term secular trend in abundant, low-cost natural gas.
Strong Yields: • In the current low-yield environment for investment-bonds, investors looking for income might consider utilities stocks as one way to obtain a relatively higher yield with lower risk compared to equities in other sectors.
• A utility company that issues a high dividend payout or historically has increased its dividend yield tends to be one that has relatively stable cash flow and operates in a mature industry. • Utilities companies with management teams that are focused on increasing their dividend payouts—returning excess capital to investors—are likely to experience upward pressure on their stock prices.
BEST IDEAS: CNP, D, DUK, WR
A Comparison Guide for Choosing An Email Marketing Service To Grow Your Business By: Jerry Robinson, FTM Dailty.com Editor and Cheif
If you are a small business owner, you have probably heard that you need an email marketing service to grow your business. Or perhaps you have already signed up for an email marketing service like Constant Contact or Aweber. Regardless of whether you are an experienced email marketer or a complete newbie to email marketing, this page of our website is dedicated to helping you navigate the many â€” and growing â€” choices that you have among email marketing service providers. A properly structured email marketing strategy can create amazing growth for your business. However, if you are like me, you often find that too many choices can be overwhelming. (For example, I ran to the grocery store the other day to pick up a jar of pickles. I was astounded to see that there were rows and rows of different kinds of pickles. Talk about paralysis by analysis!) While having a multitude of choices is a good thing, it can also be overwhelming.Email Marketing Comparison Guide
The truth is that I recently created this chart while I was in the process of changing my email marketing service provider.
It had been several years since I had been on the market for this type of service and I was shocked by the number of new companies that had popped up over the last few years. Suffice it to say, I am a discriminating buyer. I contacted every company listed below and quizzed each of them with a variety of questions. Because I run several businesses and have a very large set of email lists, this was a big deal for me. If you are just getting started with your email marketing strategy, you may find my research to be a bit overkill. However, for those who have some email marketing experience, you will likely appreciate the large number of metrics that I used in this comparison chart below. Running an online business is amazingly fun and gratifying. However, it involves a lot of hours if you hope to be successful. And the work can often be tedious. That is why I am sharing my research with you. Hopefully, my leg work in searching for a different email marketing service can serve to make your life a little bit easier! ďƒŒ 18
Email Marketing Service Comparison Guide Criteria
Email Marketing Company
My Overall Rating
500 contacts – unlimited emails.
600 contacts – limited to 7 email blasts per month. (They told me that you can call after you sign up and remove the sending cap to an unlimited sending plan.)
500 contacts – unlimited emails.
500 contacts – unlimited emails.
2500 contacts – unlimited emails.
NO. But your first month is only $1.00.
YES. 30 day free trial with up to 250 contacts.
YES. 60 day free trial. Limited to 100 contacts.
YES. And it remains free until you exceed 100 contacts.
NO. But your first month is only $3.95. Unlimited emails + many more features. (see details)
Free Email Templates
YES. Aweber provides over 400 pre-designed free email templates.
YES. Over 400 pre-designed free email templates.
YES. 443 pre-designed free email templates.
YES. Over 350 pre-designed free email templates.
YES. Over 50 pre-designed email templates.
Social Media Integration
YES. Unlimited campaigns.
YES. Unlimited campaigns.
YES. However, you are limited to one autoresponder campaign per account. (This was a big negative for my multiple businesses.)
YES. Unlimited campaigns.
YES. Unlimited campaigns.
YES. AWeber provides a very impressive form builder that easily integrates into your website.
YES. A free form builder that integrates nicely into your existing website.
YES. Decent form builder but I definitely prefer the easy form builder at AWeber and Get Response.
YES. Get Response provides a very similar form building tool to AWeber that easily integrates into your existing website.
Event Marketing Tools
NO. But they do have polls and survey tools
NO. Online surveys are included however.
Fairly straightforward. Not as easy as Constant Contact but much more powerful.
Easy to use. Similar to Constant Contact in simplicity.
Very easy. Email builders use drag and drop technology making designing and customizing an email very easy.
Very similar to AWeber. Fairly straightforward with lots of informative tutorials.
I found this user interface to be slightly more difficult than the average email marketing service. They have an entire separate website dedicated to tutorials on using their service if that tells you anything.
AWeber wins hands down here. I have always been impressed by their customer service and very knowledgeable staff. Live chat, phone and email support. In addition, they have an excellent knowledge base which answers most questions.
Very knowledgeable and friendly customer support. Lots of video tutorials and an online knowledge base. Live chat, phone support, email support.
Friendly and yet slightly difficult to get a straight answer sometimes. They do have a lot of online learning resources, however, to be fair. Live chat, phone and email support.
Get Response has very good customer support. Live chat, phone and email support and lots of online learning resources.
The people at 1ShoppingCart are friendly and helpful. Good phone and email support.
AWeber and Get Response are by far my two favorite email marketing services based on my specific needs.
Good customer support with a user-friendly interface and lots of technical support.
Very easy and fast to set up and publish an email with drag and drop technology.
Very competitive price based on their many features if you have a small list.
Lots of free pre-designed email templates to get you off and running quickly.
I really like Get Response’s email marketing service. With many of their latest improvements, I may even like them slightly better than AWeber.
1ShoppingCart offers a great service for those who will be selling products online such as digital downloads.
Number of Contacts
Easy Website Form Integration
Ease of Use
Levels of Customer Support
AWeber leads the way in easy autoresponder campaigns. Their customer service is refreshingly excellent (which is rare these days.)
60 day free trial is very generous.
Their sign up form builder is fun to use.
Friendly and excellent customer support.
The monthly price is good.
While it is not a negative for me, some users may experience some difficulty with the email builder. Especially if they are used to the ease of Constant Contact or Benchmark.
Excellent autoresponder service and opt-in sign up form builder for your website which is eerily similar to AWeber’s.
Great price for what you get. Limited to seven emails to your list per month unless you call in and request more. No event marketing tools.
My biggest problem with Constant Contact is their lack of allowing me to have multiple campaigns within a single email account. This is a major flaw in my opinion.
I am working on finding a con for Get Response. I am very impressed with what I have seen so far.
Click here to visit the Constant Contact website to start your free 60 day trial.
Click here to visit the Get Response website to start your free 60 day trial.
Your email list, your autoresponders, and your customers are all in one place in one database. And if you are selling digital downloads from your website, you can store them on 1ShoppingCart’s servers. However, note the maximum file size of your digital products is limited to 7 MB. 1ShoppingCart is obviously more expensive. However, you get a lot for the price if you are selling products online. No social media integration.
No image hosting or event marketing tools. An “almost” free trial ($1.00 for the first month.)
Click here to visit the AWeber website for a $1 Test Drive.
Click here to visit the Benchmark Email website to start your free 30 day trial.
Click here to visit the 1ShoppingCart website to start your free 60 day trial.
FTM Quarterly Contributors Jerry Robinson, Editor-in-Chief and Director of Economic Research, FTM Quarterly
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Jennifer Robinson, Managing Editor and Financial Analyst, FTM Quarterly
Tom Cloud, (Precious Metals Advisor) Jay Peroni, CFP (Christian Financial Advisor Network)
About FTM Quarterly FTM Quarterly is an independent educational newsletter providing in-depth economic analysis, forecasts, trends, and personal financial strategies. FTM Quarterly is published four times per year in January, April, July, and October.
Disclaimer FTM Quarterly and its staff, contributors, employees, and all related parties seek to provide accurate and insightful investment commentary. We do not give investment advice and our comments are an expression of opinion ONLY and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as specific recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity, annuity, insurance, precious metal, foreign currency, or any other financial instrument of any kind at any time. FTM Quarterly does not make any representations, warranties or guarantees express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein. The information is supplied by FTM Quarterly with the express condition, to which everyone using it is subject, that no obligation, responsibility or liability shall be incurred by FTM Quarterly and/or its principals for any loss or damage, whether incidental, special, indirect or consequential, in connection with, caused by or arising from any use of or reliance upon the information contained within the FTM Quarterly Newsletter. Additionally, FTM Quarterly and its staff, contributors, employees, and all related parties shall not be held liable for any losses incurred due to the opinions, commentary, or analysis contained herein. A qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, should be consulted prior to the purchase or sale of any investment. Always consult a trusted financial advisor before making any financial decisions.
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