We peered into the pasture behind our house yesterday and were surprised by what we saw.
At the crest of the hill, seven whitetail deer slowly marched into the pines. The buck to the rear of the group seemed to strut with pride, letting the world know he had made it safely through hunting season.
But as we were counting the points on his head, something darted through our fenced pasture – its bushy tail waved like the flag of a rushing army.
The fox was after our chickens. In fact, by the time we got to the battleground, it’d marched off with one in its mouth.
The scene is an apt analogy for what’s happening around the country.
We can ponder the bucolic deer on the hill and remind ourselves of the great things in the news these days – tax cuts, bitcoin and cultural change.
Or we could ponder the fox and the many scary things in the news – things like, yes, tax cuts, bitcoin and cultural change.
It’s with that idea at the tip our pen that we turn our attention to our dear readers and what’s on their minds.
Andy, the news of a huge power outage at Atlanta’s airport on Sunday scares me. I can’t believe nobody got killed. But thanks to Washington’s ineptitude, I predict things like this will happen more and more frequently. It’s going to get bad. – C.C.
We agree… well, we agree with half of C.C.’s comment.
Yes, things are going to get bad.
And, yes, it’s a miracle we didn’t see more trouble in Atlanta. It’s exactly why we tell folks to always be prepared. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can leave your safety essentials at home. Always carry a flashlight, food and must-haves like prescriptions with you… not in your checked luggage.
As for the idea that the government can spend its way out of this mess – watch what you wish for.
In the 1960s, governments of all sizes spent roughly 7% of the nation’s GDP on public infrastructure. Today, the figure is half that… and it shows.
But we say the robust buildup in the ‘50s and ‘60s is an anomaly. It will never be repeated. Too much has changed.
The only thing that will pull us out of this mess is the private sector. It means the government needs to get out of the way and empower businesses to rebuild and renew the nation.
Speaking of which…
Have you seen the news from California? They just released guidelines on how to avoid cellphone radiation. Thanks for telling us about this months ago. – J.M.
Don’t thank us. Thank Dr. Joel Moskowitz, the thorn in California’s side who’s been shouting to anybody who will listen about the “abysmal job” the industry is doing to regulate cellphone radiation.
He uncovered drafts of official guidelines that were swept under the rug because, get this, California’s officials didn’t want to spark panic.
There’s research that suggests phones could be causing brain cancer… tumors… headaches… sleep impairment… and even low sperm count.
And yet regulators didn’t think you would want to know.
For our full report on the situation – and our solution – click here.
The Truth in the Numbers
Next, a slew of readers wrote us last week after our myth-busting essay on why NOT to pay off your mortgage.
Clearly we have more work to do…
I couldn’t disagree more with your idea that a person should not pay off a mortgage. I am a financial consultant and I believe that, by far, most people do not have the ability to put that money to good use investing. Nor could they in most instances do well enough to create that much return to make it worthwhile. As you have seen from recent events, the interest deduction may not be there for the duration of the loan. And I have never been a fan of spending money just to get a tax deduction. I firmly believe, that for the average person out there, the choices he/she has with no mortgage payment far outweigh keeping a mortgage. – M.L.
Ah yes, the curse of mediocrity strikes again. “You’re not smart enough to live the good life, Mr. Sheep, just keep following everybody else.”
The math doesn’t lie. If a person wants to escape the chains of mediocrity, he just needs to follow the numbers. Give us 20 minutes, and we can find a long list of ultra-safe bonds that pay far more than the average interest rate.
Sink your money in them for the next 30 years, and making your mortgage payment will be no problem.
Here’s another take on the subject… straight from an accountant.
Making extra payments on any debt provides you NO debt relief should you become the victim of negative circumstances beyond your control. A good example of this is disability. Regardless of how much you previously paid, almost all debt contracts require payments of no less than a certain stated monthly (or annual) amount in order to prevent foreclosure.
Let’s say you paid an extra $100,000 over the course of the last 12 months on your $300,000 mortgage. Further, your mortgage requires you to make $1,500 of combined principal and interest payments every month. Further, you were unexpectedly injured on the job and are temporarily unable to make the next year’s worth of $1,500 monthly payments on mortgage.
The bank will ALWAYS ignore previous extra payments and will ALWAYS foreclose should you continue to not pay each month’s $1,500 payment based upon the loan covenant signed at origination. READ THE COVENANT and you will know that I’m telling the truth.
Instead of making early payments on your mortgage, you could have used your $100,000 cash stash for your regular $1,500 monthly mortgage payments and staved off foreclosure for another 5 1/2 years, allowing you to keep your home while giving you time to recover from your disability.
Remember, cash liquidity is often more important than one’s rate of interest, either paid or received. – C.S.
Finally, those darn doctors always want more from us…
Hi Andy. Yet another great post, thank you so much. Would it be possible to have the reference of the study for this experiment, pretty please?
And even in the future, would you please kindly provide the reference when you mention a study in a post or the newsletter?
Thank you so much in advance. – P.Z.
The doctor is referring to our essay last week about the Israeli mind trick. We referenced rather crazy research that shows just how “unique” the human brain is. You can read the full study – in its academic glory – by clicking here.
And yes, we’ll do our very best to include links to our research in the future.
Keep the questions and comments coming. Email us at email@example.com.