Mailbag: Busting the Myths of Safe Money and Santa Claus

Doing what we do, we get a lot of odd things handed to us.

Folks send us their unsolicited business plans… we get their books to review… and we get a free T-shirt every now and then.

But this week, we got the oddest thing yet.

After a quick dinner out, somebody cracked open their fortune cookie, read it and quickly handed it to us.

“Here,” they said. “I think I accidentally got your fortune.”

Reading it, we could only nod and say that, indeed, our fortunes were crossed.

“All men should try to learn before they die,” the sugar-tainted sliver of paper reads, “what they are running from, and to, and why.”

It’s deep stuff for such a shallow dessert… but, boy, could we spill some ink on the subject.

Really, it’s what we do all day, every day.

Whether we’re musing about the latest opportunities in the stock market, fighting the atrocities of surface-level news or merely teaching men what it means to be a good man, our Triad has a simple mission.

We’re fighting ignorance. And as we do it, we’re learning what we’re running from… what we’re headed to… and why it’s all happening.

We ate the cookie… and slipped the little piece of paper into our wallet.

We have a feeling we’ll pass it to the next guy soon enough.

All men, after all, should strive to learn…

Whatcha Wearing?

As we dive into the mailbag, we see ample opportunities to share our Know-How and pick up some of our own.

We’ll start simple…

Loved your article on your wool clothing. Do you have pictures of the actual wool jacket and other gear posted anywhere? Looking to purchase something similar. – Reader M.K.

Good timing… We’re wearing our favorite wool vest as we type.

M.K. is referring to our popular essay titled “The Ultimate Survival Material.”

We’ll save you some time and a click of your mouse (but here’s the link if you’d like it) and just tell you it’s about wool – one of the best materials on the planet.

The essay goes into the science of it all. But it also looks at some of our favorite wool-based attire.

As we celebrated our first sighting of snow on the new farm this week, we think a quick look at the topic seems appropriate.

Here’s a link to the jacket we mentioned in the essay. What’s nice about this layer is that it’s not quite as bulky as a jacket and it’s much more than just a shirt. That’s why it’s called a “shirt jac.”

Hardly a winter day goes by without it on our back.

If you’re looking for something warm to put under the shirt jac… try this. It’s the merino wool undershirt mentioned in the essay.


Money Troubles

Let’s move on to a subject that’s a bit more complicated… and needs a whole lot more myth-busting.

I have $50,000 in a family trust I need to invest. Growth and safety are my goals. What is your recommendation? 

I am new to Manward. I have investments in small companies that haven’t done well overall. This investment needs to be safe but not stagnant. – Reader J.B. 

Ah, J.B., you ask what so many folks are pondering. We want to make money… but don’t want to risk what we’ve got.

An entire industry (one of the most lucrative on the planet, mind you) has been created just to answer the question. Wall Street makes its living working to quench our vast thirst for safe money.

We’ll simply say what we’ve said so many times before. You get what you pay for.

In other words, there’s no gain without potential pain.

We’re getting 1.88% on our savings account. It’s about as risk-free as it gets. If that’s the sort of growth you need, great.

If you need something more like 2% to 5%, bonds and blue chips are in order. But be warned, the blue chips aren’t who they used to be. Many a widow and orphan have been hurt in recent years as stalwarts like General Electric have started to feel their age.

For our money, of course, we look at things a bit differently.

We own a bit of everything… from bitcoin to bonds… and from stocks to stockyards.

It’s why we divide the portfolios in Manward Letter in half. We’ve got the Everyman Portfolio – stocks that every man should own. And, in a nod to the investing greats, we’ve got the Own What You Know Portfolio – a compilation of companies with businesses we understand intimately.

There’s no short answer, J.B. We can only say to keep it simple and learn as much as possible.

[Note: In that spirit, my good friend and former colleague Karim Rahemtulla over at The Oxford Club is hosting a free training event TODAY at 1 p.m. ET about his undefeated strategy for boosting returns with low risk. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the supercharged profit potential of options… I suggest you reserve your spot now. Click here.]

Ignorance is the greatest destroyer of wealth.

Sweatin’ It Out

Speaking of which… 

Andy, I think you need to check your facts better as I believe that some toxins as well as other substances are sweated out. Otherwise I value your comments. – Reader G.J.

Hmmmm… How do we put this nicely?

Ah, yes, we’ll turn to our old pal Santa Claus.

We used to believe in him, too, but now we don’t. We did some research of our own and are now convinced Old Man Kringle could never fit down our chimney.

The well-touted myth that sweat has the potential to detoxify our body isn’t that much more far-fetched.

Yes, it’s true that trace amounts of manmade chemicals that are attracted to fat have been found in sweat… but the levels are insanely low – just 0.02% of the level that we ingest on a daily basis.

In other words, you’ll never be able to sweat enough to remove even a fraction of the harmful stuff that you ingest each day.

You have a better chance of running into Mrs. Claus at Wal-Mart.

Meat Myths

Saving the best for last…

You wrote, “We’ve all known for quite a while that red meat is linked to increased rates of heart disease, cancer and even diabetes.” This comment is the most preposterous load of garbage ever stated, given that we were hunter gatherers for more years than we have had garbage carbs. It blows me away that anyone with a brain could state it!”

 OMG, the Kool-Aid is working well, me thinks! Reader M.D.

Oh my… we’ve got a lot to say.

But we’ll let another reader chime in… with a bit more depth.

Regarding this statement: “We’ve all known for quite a while that red meat is linked to increased rates of heart disease, cancer and even diabetes. But to the wide woe of the feel-good crowd, we still eat meat.”

Actually, this statement is only correct for feedlot meat, where the cattle are fed grain, corn and soybeans. That is not their natural food, and it makes their meat unhealthy because it has a high level of omega-6 and a low level of omega-3. But if the cattle are fed grass, which is their proper food, then their meat is high in omega-3, and thus their meat increases our level of health.

So the concern about heart disease, cancer and diabetes is really a concern about the effects of omega-6, which is known to be associated with heart disease, cancer and other inflammatory diseases. 

The remedy isn’t less meat, but rather a shift to the healthy grass-fed omega-3 meat. Reader J.W.

Now we’re getting somewhere. But we warn readers that the organic (aka grass-fed) industry has some great marketers on its side.

It’s not all unicorns and rainbows grazing on that grass.

The truth, as usual, is nowhere to be found – at least not in any marketing material.

It’s true that grass-fed beef has more omega-3 fatty acid than grain-fed beef – about three times as much. That’s good.

But here’s what the organic label won’t tell you. That same grass-fed beef is significantly higher in saturated fat and trans fat.

That’s bad.

Here’s a link from a trusted source with a whole lot more detail. It concludes there’s little nutritional difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef.

Instead, the difference comes in the chemicals and processes used to grow the beef. When we look at it from that light, grass-fed is a clear winner.

Either way, our point is simple.

Bad information is everywhere.

But it certainly wasn’t in our fortune cookie. All men must learn. We must tackle what we fear… we must know what we want… and we must know why we do what we do.

The rewards are handsome.