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Truth Tracker: The Potential Consequences of Media Unaccountability on the Financial Industry (Part 1)


In a world where the media operates without fiduciary duty and the absence of laws that strictly regulate its practices, the consequences on society, and particularly on the financial industry, can be far-reaching.

The potential harm is further amplified when considering that media outlets are owned by Wall Street. In this essay, we will discuss the implications of such circumstances and the detrimental impact they can have on the financial industry.

Media outlets play a significant role in shaping public opinion, influencing investment decisions, and ultimately, impacting the financial markets. When media organizations lack fiduciary responsibility, they are free to publish misinformation, misrepresentation, or even outright lies. In an environment lacking oversight, these false narratives can easily mislead investors and create unnecessary panic or euphoria, prompting drastic market reactions.

Media’s duty is not solely to report news; it also entails holding the financial industry accountable. However, in the absence of laws and regulations, media outlets might prioritize their own financial interests or their affiliations with Wall Street owners. Consequently, their reporting may be biased, skewed, or manipulated in ways that favor specific industry players. Manipulative reporting can impact stock prices, deceive investors, and compromise market integrity.

Moreover, without legal recourse, those affected by biased reporting or financial losses resulting from media misinformation find themselves without a means of seeking justice or restitution. This lack of accountability erodes trust in the financial system, discourages investment, and undermines the overall stability of the industry.

To mitigate these risks, it becomes essential for society and regulators to demand transparency, accountability, and ethical practices from media organizations. Enacting laws that regulate financial media, implementing oversight mechanisms, and promoting fact- checking can help ensure that news outlets provide accurate, objective information to the public.

In summary, the absence of fiduciary responsibility, coupled with the ownership of media outlets by Wall Street, creates an environment that allows misinformation, manipulation, and biased reporting to flourish unchecked. This poses significant risks to the financial industry, giving rise to potential market volatility, loss of investor confidence, and erosion of trust. Recognizing the potential consequences and taking proactive measures to establish oversight and legal accountability are imperative to safeguard the integrity of the financial industry. These actions are vital to ensuring fair and transparent reporting for the everyday retired investor who has worked a lifetime to secure their retirement future.

The Crash Proof Retirement System – A Safer Way to Save for Retirement

crash proof retirement system

There are many strategies that Americans use to save for retirement and each one has different benefits and drawbacks. Some of these options include 401(k) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), mutual funds, target-date funds, and many other financial vehicles. In general, retirement savings vehicles fall into one of two categories: high-risk securities-based investments and fixed investments, most of which exist outside the securities industry. As you get closer to retirement, you should focus on mitigating risk to ensure your nest egg will still be there when you need it. 

Concerned About Your Retirement Investments?

If you are concerned about the safety of your retirement investments, you should know that it is possible to achieve a secure retirement. Crash Proof Retirement has helped more than 5,000 consumers in or near retirement take their nest eggs out of the risky securities industry and place it into guaranteed financial vehicles that protect and grow their money without the risk and fees of Wall Street. Read on to find out more about the Crash Proof Retirement System and how it can help you achieve the retirement of your dreams.

What is the Crash Proof Retirement System?

When the stock market crashed in 2008, millions of Americans all over the country lost an immense portion of their retirement savings. IRA and 401(k) plans alone lost more than 20% of their value – a combined $2.4 trillion. While younger investors were able to continue working and wait for the markets to recover, older workers who were nearing retirement had to delay and alter their plans and some unfortunately were never able to recover what they had lost.

Some Americans were forced to retire due to illness, injury, or other factors, such as losing their job and not being able to find new work. As a result, millions of Americans have entered retirement in the years since the 2008 financial crisis without the necessary financial resources. Although millions of Americans were left at risk with securities on Wall Street, others were protected from the crash. These investors had peace of mind while watching the stock market rollercoaster because they were protected with the Crash Proof Retirement System and continued to feel secure all throughout the 2010s, while remaining whole during the coronavirus crash of 2020.

So, how does the Crash Proof Retirement System work? 

Learn How the Crash Proof Retirement System Works

At Crash Proof Retirement, their team of licensed retirement phase experts have a fiduciary duty to analyze and educate investors about financial vehicles that are proven to be safe for consumers in or near retirement. They call these Crash Proof Vehicles because they guarantee that you will never lose your principal due to a stock market downturn. While the value of high-risk security investments can fluctuate wildly along with the stock market, Crash Proof Vehicles credit interest when the market is up and prevent you from losing your principal during market crashes.

The Crash Proof Retirement System provides other benefits for retirement phase investors like tax-deferred growth and the ability to activate guaranteed Crash Proof Income when you retire. Each vehicle in the Crash Proof Retirement System has a specific purpose and works in concert with the other vehicles in each individually tailored system, much in the same way that the individual components of an orchestra come together to create a beautiful melody. When you choose a Crash Proof Retirement, you can have peace of mind knowing that your nest egg will be safe no matter what is happening in the world.

Highlights of Crash Proof Retirement System & Education

Visit the homepage of Crash Proof Retirement to see videos on the following:

  • Peace of Mind with Crash Proof Retirement – Experience the unparalleled peace of mind provided by the Crash Proof Retirement System. Rooted in decades of research, it offers a secure foundation, shielding your retirement savings from market volatility and economic uncertainty. Rest easy knowing your hard-earned money is safeguarded.
  • Double Digit Interest Returns with Crash Proof Retirement – Learn how to unlock the potential of double-digit interest returns with the Crash Proof Retirement System. Its innovative approach, backed by sound financial principles, tracks the market for growth while prioritizing capital preservation, even in a low-interest-rate environment.
  • The Dangers of Variable Annuities – Learn about the pitfalls of variable annuities. High fees and market-linked risks can erode your retirement income in Variable Annuities. The Crash Proof Retirement System provides a safe alternative, emphasizing steady growth, downside protection, and fee elimination.
  • The Hidden Secrets of Mutual Funds – Discover the hidden secrets of mutual funds. Many investors are unaware that their fees and market vulnerability can hinder returns. The Crash Proof Retirement System offers a transparent, secure path with the potential for consistent growth.
  • Investing with no Fees – See how our consumers experience fee-free investing with the Crash Proof Retirement System. Unlike traditional options burdened by fees, this system eliminates expenses, allowing your money to work harder for you.
  • Crash Proof Retirement Educational Process – Learn how to navigate retirement planning confidently with the Crash Proof Retirement System’s comprehensive educational process. This one of a kind education will empower you to make informed decisions about your hard earned money.
  • Liquidity of the Crash Proof Retirement System – All of our consumers enjoy a balance of growth and accessibility with the Crash Proof Retirement System. While benefiting from steady returns and downside protection, Crash Proof Consumers have access to the money they need to maintain their lifestyle throughout retirement.
  • Crash Proof Consumers Who Missed the Crash of 2008 – Consumers who invested in The Exclusive Crash Proof Retirement System prior to the market crash of 2008 have a special appreciation for our system. They prioritized stability and resilience, safeguarding their retirement savings from the biggest financial catastrophe in modern history. They are living proof that the Crash Proof Retirement System delivers security, growth, and transparency, catering to modern investors’ concerns. It stands as an attractive option for a stable and prosperous retirement, providing peace of mind, impressive returns, and a secure path forward.

Learn More about Crash Proof Retirement

It is possible for anyone to have a Crash Proof Retirement. When you are ready, the licensed retirement phase experts at Crash Proof Retirement are ready to educate you about the proprietary Crash Proof Vehicles and how they can help you achieve peace of mind in retirement.

To learn more about the Exclusive Crash Proof Retirement System visit crashproofretirement.com or call 1-800-722-9728 and schedule your complimentary personal financial checkup today! 

Groundbreaking Documentary Sheds Light on the Retirement Crisis

Groundbreaking Documentary Sheds Light on the Retirement Crisis

A documentary film has been sweeping the nation, revolutionizing the way investors are looking at retirement planning. “The Baby Boomer Dilemma: An Exposé on America’s Retirement Experiment” takes a deep dive into the lethal pitfalls of the retirement savings plans that all consumer investors were told were safe, while experts and advisors alike never exposed the true alternative solutions that lie outside of Wall Street and lead to a guaranteed retirement future. 

Throughout the movie, award-winning director Doug Orchard uses exclusive interviews with an army of the highest level experts in the financial industry such as the “father of the 401(k)” Ted Benna, who was hired to create the 401(k) back in the ‘80s, two world renowned Nobel Prize winners, and six distinguished Ph.D. economists from the top business schools, to expose the devastating cracks in the financial industry that have 401(k)s, IRAs, Social Security, and other retirement plans on the brink of collapse. 

An important message in this movie is the need for dependable guaranteed income streams that provide inflation fighters in retirement. One of the distinguished experts in the film, Moshe A. Milevsky, impressively earned a Ph.D. in business finance and a master’s degree in mathematics, and has been a professor at York University for 25 years. Milevsky takes the time to put the spotlight on widely known investments that most people invest in, like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, saying they are, “nothing more than one big lump sum of money.” 

Milevsky is pointing out that, it doesn’t matter if you’re in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or 401(k)s, advisors and experts alike will tell you you’re diversified with Wall Street, but they’re all in the same category – “one big lump sum of money” – risk investments. As most experts agree, you cannot have a guaranteed retirement future made up of a lump sum of risk investments. 

Edward Siedle is one of the most experienced former SEC attorneys and earned the SEC’s largest whistle-blower award. In the film, he sheds light on the truth about the hidden fees that compound the risk all Wall Street investors face. Siedle points out and cautions, 

“How much do 401(k)s lose when they pay excessive mutual fund fees? The answer is that half a percent or more a year in excessive fees causes your average American worker to have maybe 60% of what they would’ve.” 

One would have to ask, with the hidden ongoing fees in securities and mutual funds and the lump sum of risk most financial portfolios are made up of, how can the everyday investor have a guaranteed retirement future? Sadly, the responsibility is left to the people who know the least about investing – the everyday investing consumer.

Moviegoers will learn what all the experts in the film, and around the globe, tout as the best way to find the guaranteed income streams that so many Baby Boomers are missing: investments from the financial life insurance industry. These alternative investments, called fixed index annuities (FIAs), offer guaranteed income that is tax-deferred, with no risk of market loss. As Milevsky explains, this consensus among economists is a rarity in the financial industry. 

He says, “There seems to be only one area in economics where there’s almost consensus. Almost all economists, no matter what model or frame of mind they’re coming to the retirement dilemma with, they’ll say it’s a good idea to take a part of your nest egg at retirement and buy a guaranteed source of income otherwise known as an annuity.” 

The film’s most renowned expert, the late Dr. David Babbel, established himself as an elite Ph.D. economist after over a decade of rigorous training to earn his Ph.D., followed by a 25-year career teaching at the top business school in the country, the Wharton School of Business, which has held that number one spot since the school was founded in 1881. 

In 2009, the great Dr. Babbel and a team of six of Wharton’s top Ph.D. economists and two senior actuaries conducted a two-year in-depth study on FIAs titled “Real World Index Annuity Returns.” 

Dr. Babbel is quoted in the conclusion of his team’s study saying, “Since their inception in 1995, FIAs have outperformed corporate and government bonds, equity mutual funds, and money markets in any combination, not just one year, but every year through the study’s completion (Which includes enduring the market crashes of 2001 and 2008).” 

The conclusion of this study prompted this prominent economist, Dr. Babbel, to invest his own hard-earned savings into 14 FIAs of his own. He shares how important the FIAs that he researched are and explains the benefits he experienced for himself by saying in the film, “If you’re a good manager of your money, you shouldn’t get one annuity – you should get several. You get enough to live off of to get your basic income and that’ll get you through maybe 70 to 75. Then when you start running short of money, you have these other annuities that are growing tax-deferred.” 

Dr. Babbel goes on to explain a strategy called staggered annuitization in which he activated only seven of his 14 annuities when he retired, while the other seven were there for him to be activated as a guaranteed income stream when needed. While those accounts weren’t activated, they accrued interest, and provided market-like returns without market risk. 

He provides an example of how this staggered annuitization works by saying, “When my wife says, ‘Dear we need some more money,’ I say, ‘I have got a deal for you.’ And I turn on one of the annuities and woah, it increases our income by 25 to 30 percent for the rest of our lives.” After conducting thorough research and experiencing the benefits of these FIAs himself, we were surprised that he declined an invitation to discuss these investments on The Crash Proof Retirement® Radio Show back in 2011, and why he wasn’t sharing his research with the American Retiree elsewhere. 

The truth is, there was a conflict of interest. Companies like Goldman Sachs, survive and thrive selling risky Wall Street investments and don’t promote the safe alternatives that the best economists, including Dr. Babbel, know will guarantee a retiree’s future and income. 

Therefore, when economists graduate from globally respected universities like Dr. Babbel did, investment banks like Goldman Sachs swoop in, snatch them up, and put these recognized economists on their payroll through different boards. In Dr. Babbel’s case, Goldman Sachs appointed him the founder and leader of their Pension and Insurance Department. 

When Dr. Babbel was placed on Goldman Sachs’ payroll, a conflict of interest was created thus explaining why Dr. Babbel was unwilling to spread the truth about the investments he knew to be successful for himself and his family. 

Only when Dr. Babbel became terminally ill did he feel free of his conflict of interest with Goldman Sachs and agree to disclose how he invested his own life savings in investments that aren’t sold by Goldman Sachs – FIAs. 

Dr. Babbel lost his battle with leukemia in May 2021, just shy of the film’s release date. Knowing the severity of his illness, he pushed through production to leave a financial legacy by alerting the American public to the safe alternatives from the financial life insurance industry that guarantee his family and over 5,000 Crash Proof® consumers the guaranteed income, the principal protection, and the growth they need to guarantee their current lifestyle through retirement years. 

Crash Proof Retirement® would like to thank Dr. Babbel for the long-term relationship and for being a consumer advocate for the everyday investor, exposing these exceptional vehicles that came out in 1995, in this must-see documentary. Crash Proof Retirement® urges you to reserve your seat for one of Crash Proof Retirement®’s complimentary private showings of “The Baby Boomer Dilemma.” Seating is limited and registration is required. Call 800-722-9728 or visit crashproofretirement.com to reserve your seat.

What Happened to Silicon Valley Bank?


In March, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank became the second and third-largest banks ever to fail in U.S. history. Both banks, as well as Silvergate Bank, took just five days to collapse. This sent panic that rippled throughout the economy.

Signature Bank was popular within the cryptocurrency community. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was the 16th largest bank in the country and like Silvergate, had depositors who were heavily involved in the technology industry.

SVB’s deposit base tripled between 2020 and 2022 and they earned billions of dollars through the loans they gave to startup tech companies, but how they handled this financial success eventually led to their downfall.

What makes the banks so fragile?

Kris Mitchener, economics professor at Santa Clara University and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research says, “Banks are fragile because of their business model.”

Banks use depositors’ money to make investments. They use those returns as well as interest from loans they give to individuals and businesses to cover their expenses and eventually profit.

This business model is fragile because banks need a lot of money on hand should their depositors need it, but they often utilize risky investments to turn profits. If the banks take a loss on those investments when the depositors need money they then risk bankruptcy.

Most banks have depositors from a variety of industries, so if one industry falls on hard times, they still have depositors from other industries giving them money to keep the bank running.

Mitchener explains that in SVB’s case, almost all of their depositors were from the tech sector – a historically volatile field – and exceeded the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) $250,000 insurance limit.

The impact of rising interest rates

Knowing that SVB lacked variety in their depositor base and seeing that they had a plethora of uninsured accounts, SVB tried to minimize risk by taking their new earnings and investing them into government bonds – considered to be one of the least risky investments around.

What they didn’t consider was the double-sided disaster rising interest rates would cause. As interest rates rose, depositors across the tech industry needed to withdraw their money to cover the increase in the cost of the debt they used to start their untested ventures.

Those withdrawals picked up pace after Silvergate Bank collapsed on March 8. Depositors who saw similarities between Silvergate and SVB rushed to remove their funds and liquidate accounts.

Most of SVB’s clients had multi-million or even billion-dollar accounts, and when they went to take their money out, it wasn’t there. The bank needed the money it invested in those 10-year treasury bonds to pay its depositors and remain solvent.

When SVB made those investments, interest rates were incredibly low. By the time they cashed out their bonds to pay depositors, interest rates were much higher, erasing the bonds’ value.

Lost money means lost customers

SVB lost about $1.8 billion selling those bonds, intensifying the panic and sending customers into a full-blown bank run the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression.

“One day you think banks are healthy and the next day you wake up and you think they’re insolvent. When those beliefs coordinate on that new equilibrium where you think the bank is insolvent, then people run those banks and those runs can happen really quickly. We saw the same thing in 1929,” Mitchener told Crash Proof Retirement and discussed further in his paper, “Arresting Banking Panics: Federal Reserve Liquidity Provision and the Forgotten Panic of 1929.”

After the run, SVB’s shares tumbled 50% in one day, its steepest single-day drop ever. SVB quickly collapsed on March 10, leaving depositors who didn’t run the bank stranded.

Depositors involved in these recent bank failures far surpassed the FDIC’s
$250,000 limit, but this time, the FDIC made depositors whole.

“[The FDIC was] concerned about the risks, people waking up to these risks, and starting to run other banks who have similar characteristics,” Mitchener says as to why the FDIC assisted depositors.

All of this shows that banks take more risk than we thought and large sums of money were never safe – not even government bonds were truly guaranteed. The sad reality is that this is poised to happen again.

How is this allowed?

After a similar rush of bank runs fueled the Great Depression, the Glass-Steagall Act was passed in 1933. This created the FDIC, limited the investment risks banks could take, and led to decades of tranquility in the banking sector. But in 1999, former President Bill Clinton repealed the act.

Now banks can take risks to increase their profit and if those investments fail the FDIC is your only protection. If your deposits surpass the FDIC’s insurance limit, you’re out of luck. If the Glass-Steagall Act was still in place, this wouldn’t happen.

SVB’s failed investments are a prime example of exactly what the Glass-Steagall Act was trying to prevent. Confidence in the safety of banks is essential to keeping the economy running. Failing to maintain that confidence has caused some of the greatest market crashes in history, and it all stemmed from failed investments made by banks.

What impact will this have going forward?

The recent FDIC bailouts helped stabilize consumer panic, but unfortunately, the FDIC can’t continue to bail out banks much longer.

Ross Levine, the Willis H. Booth chair in Banking and Finance at the University of California, noted that it’s possible the FDIC will have to borrow money to pay for this round of bailouts.

While the FDIC is not tax-payer funded, loans from the U.S. Treasury are. If the FDIC does borrow money to cover its bailouts, it’ll be printed by the Federal Reserve, leaving hardworking taxpayers to foot the bill.

If a bank isn’t safe, then what is?

The bottom line is that bank safety is a facade. Since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, banks aren’t as safe as they once were.

Bank failures are just one of the many things that could crash the markets, but what’s more concerning for those who worked a lifetime is that the investments they once thought were safe are no longer.

Only investments in the financial life insurance industry are proven, through all market crashes and bank failures in history, to protect every penny of investors’ money and allow them access to their funds when they need it. The licensed consumer advocates at Crash Proof Retirement are experts in these under-utilized safe alternatives and will customize a system around your goals to guarantee the retirement dream you worked so hard for.

If you would like to learn more about The Proprietary Crash Proof Retirement System call 1-800-722-9728 or fill out the online form on our contact page https://crashproofretirement.com/crash-proof-retirement-contact/.

IRA Portability Rules

Good News. Happy senior couple looking at each other and listening to saleswoman sitting at the desk in the background

Investors have the ability to move certain assets in order to create a financially beneficial environment for their retirement. Whether they are an account owner, a spouse, an eligible ex-spouse, or a non-spouse beneficiary, there are a number of options available when it comes to moving assets that belong to some type of IRA account or workplace retirement plan. These options include rolling over assets from one retirement plan to another, converting a retirement plan into a different type of retirement plan, and transferring funds between two similar retirement plans. When it comes to the portability of certain assets, there are some restrictions and stipulations that are occasionally updated by the Internal Revenue Service. For IRA owners, it is important to stay on top of these regulations to avoid any potential complications with your accounts.

Rolling over assets from one retirement account to another is typically done in one of two ways. The first is a direct rollover, in which case a plan sponsor, be it a 401(k), will write a check payable to an eligible traditional IRA institution, and the funds are rolled over into the new account. Since the money never physically enters the possession of the account holder, the IRS does not consider a direct rollover to be a taxable event. However, if the workplace retirement plan is being rolled over to a Roth IRA, the funds would be subject to federal income taxes prior to going into the account. 

The other way that funds can be rolled over from one retirement plan to another is indirectly. Instead of the original retirement plan, such as a 401(k) writing a check payable to the new IRA sponsor, the check is made payable to the account holder. When this is the case the account holder has up to 60 days after receiving the distribution to roll those funds over into an eligible IRA account. Since this type of rollover places the funds in the hands of the account owner, the IRS considers this to be a distribution from the original account, thus creating a taxable event. In order to avoid paying taxes on the distribution, the account holder must roll the funds into an eligible IRA account before the 60-day period expires. 

Furthermore, rollover funds must be reported to the IRS in your tax filing each year to avoid discrepancies and potential penalties if not completed correctly. It is also important to remember that a Roth 401(k) cannot be rolled over into a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA cannot be rolled over into a traditional 401(k) because taxes are assessed prior to the funds being invested in Roth accounts. Additionally, only one rollover event is allowed to take place per year and if the account owner is over the age of 72 and taking required minimum distributions, those mandated withdrawals are not eligible to be included in a rollover of funds. In the event that ineligible funds are rolled over into a retirement account, a penalty from the IRS would be assessed unless the problem is corrected. 

When an account holder wishes to move funds from similar retirement accounts like a traditional IRA from one institution to another traditional IRA at another institution, they would complete a transfer of funds. Fund transfers can only occur between two IRA accounts or 401(k) accounts that are exactly the same; therefore, an investor cannot transfer funds from a traditional IRA to a traditional 401(k), which would require a rollover of funds. Transfers are simple, non-taxable events that are facilitated by the two active plan sponsors. Thus, if an investor wanted to move a Roth IRA from one institution to another Roth IRA at a separate institution, they could do so by way of transferring the funds. 

The investor could also transfer the funds from the original institution to several other institutions as long as the account types were all the same — in this case, a Roth IRA. Unlike limitations on rollovers, an unlimited number of transfers can occur in any given year because the type of retirement account does not change and therefore the IRS does not consider the changing of institutions to be a taxable event. There is also no 60-day limit on transfers because the transaction is facilitated by the two institutions that are moving the funds. Furthermore, if required minimum distributions are being withdrawn from the IRA that is being transferred, the transfer can still be enacted because the type of account is not changing. 

There are, however, limitations on who can transfer and rollover funds. An account owner and the spouse beneficiary of an account owner have the ability to transfer funds between like accounts, as well as rollover retirement funds. Eligible ex-spouse beneficiaries, as well as non-spouse beneficiaries, only have the ability to transfer inherited assets between like accounts. 

The final way that assets can be moved from one retirement plan to another is by converting the funds of a traditional account into a Roth account. A conversion serves the purpose of taking a tax-deferred account like a traditional 401(k) or IRA and paying taxes on those funds at the present date so the money can grow tax-free in a Roth IRA for the life of the vehicle. This kind of conversion cannot happen the other way around, in which a Roth account would be converted to a traditional account because taxes have already been applied to the funds in a Roth account. Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can be completed similarly to a rollover in which the institutions can move the funds directly or indirectly. 

When a direct conversion occurs from a traditional account to a Roth account, there is no 60-day stipulation, however federal income taxes must be paid on the conversion of funds. If the funds are converted indirectly, just like an indirect rollover the current institution will write a check payable to the account owner and the owner will have up to 60 days after receiving the distribution to convert those funds to a Roth IRA, as well as paying taxes on the conversion. There are other stipulations when it comes to converting funds from a traditional account to a Roth account and that includes who is eligible to make that conversion. According to the IRS, conversions may only be executed by the account owner, a spouse beneficiary, or an eligible ex-spouse beneficiary. A non-spouse beneficiary only has the option to roll over the inherited funds, they cannot convert to a Roth account. 

The portability of IRA assets and the regulation thereof are constantly changing from year-to-year, and it is imperative that IRA owners and their beneficiaries stay up to date with the changes that do occur. Not doing so can subject you to penalties and create a potential tax nightmare. Moving your assets from a workplace retirement plan to an IRA, or simply moving funds between IRA accounts, can be facilitated by meeting with a licensed retirement phase expert who can ensure that the process is completed smoothly and accurately to avoid the potential pitfalls with the IRS. 

Global Insecurity on the Rise


The fallout from COVID-era monetary policy continues to wreak havoc throughout the global economy as more experts are slowly, but surely, waking up to the reality that a global recession is all but inevitable. This includes the World Bank Group, who released an Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Policy Note, in September, detailing the grim multi-year outlook ahead for the global economy. While food shortages, supply chain delays, and international conflicts have all fed the beast of inflation, the efforts made to quell the financial pain of Americans and others around the world have largely fallen short. In fact, the actions taken by American policymakers and the central bank have exacerbated complications with inflation and shortages. 

Previous Global Recessions

In the near century that has unfolded since the Great Depression, the United States has experienced 14 recessions, with the most recent taking place in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. Although the 2020 recession was dreadful for investors, it only lasted for a few months and quickly bounced back due to an unprecedented stimulus effort by the federal government. One would have to go back to the 2008 global financial crisis to witness a prolonged recession that was ultimately thwarted by quantitative easing.  

The monetary policy that has dominated the United States financial system since 2009 implemented a low-interest rate environment to encourage economic expansion without exceeding a 2% inflation target rate. By and large, the federal reserve was able to achieve these goals, but the growth was artificial; instead of experiencing a natural financial reset in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, investors across the globe were lifted by an economic wave propped up on stimulus. In 2020, the global markets were tested by the COVID pandemic and when the government increased their stimulus to historic levels, the financial house of cards started to collapse. Now, after nearly two years of dismissing critics concerns about overstimulating the economy as fearmongering, central banks are admitting that inflation is devastating investors in the United States and across the globe. 

World Bank Group Prediction 

The World Bank Group conducted research which concluded that by making monetary decisions in a timely manner, central banks could have eased the difficulty of addressing inflationary issues. While this analysis may seem obvious, inflation was initially classified as transitory because modern day central bank monetary policy has primarily concentrated on the demand side of economic growth. Now, as a result of these issues being cast aside, the global economic community is facing a high-risk of destabilization. This deterioration of the global economy will take place over a long period of time as issues of food insecurity, political malfeasance, and international conflicts erode the security and stability of nation states in the short term.  

This ultimately guarantees that an inescapable ripple effect will extend global losses for investors. History has shown that every political and monetary policy decision has the potential to shift economies around the world. In 2020 and 2021 central banks pumped a record amount of stimulus into the global economy and unearthed the hottest inflationary environment since the 1970s. Prior to the pandemic, during the early years of the Trump administration, tariff wars with China and other countries impacted global imports and exports while trade deals were renegotiated. Countless foreign conflicts, real estate at home and abroad, and political upheavals throughout Africa and the Middle East over the years have all made their mark on economies and their investment markets. 

Given the issues that are currently impacting the United States and other countries around the world, the World Bank Group concluded that widespread inflation would cause global economies to painfully decline through 2024. The authors noted, “Recent consensus forecasts suggest that the global economy will experience its steepest decline in growth over the next two years following an initial rebound from global recession since 1970.” Researchers from the World Bank Group went on to argue that a global recession is inevitable as central banks from around the world engage in a synchrony of monetary policy tightening to slow economic growth and cool down inflation — which they say is likely to remain above 3% globally through 2024. 

Global Inflation Rates 

Currently there are a handful of developed nations, including the United States, that are struggling with high rates of inflation. According to Trading Economics, an online economic database that forecasts more than 20 million economic indicators, there are several countries in Europe experiencing higher inflation than the United States (8.2%) due to a global energy crisis, largely stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a supply drought that dried up in the later months of 2021. 

Germany is among the notable countries in the group, who are currently dealing with their worst bought of inflation in over 70 years at 10%, while preparing for a very uncertain Winter season given their dependence on Russian oil and gas for heating and fuel. Other countries struggling with similar issues include: the Netherlands (14.5%), the United Kingdom (9.9%), Spain (9%), and Italy (8.9%). These high rates of inflation from developed nations throughout Europe are largely attributed to skyrocketing energy costs, much of which are a direct result of supply cuts from Russia in retaliation for Europe’s support of Ukraine. 

As these economic issues continue to persist, consumers all over the world will be forced to pull back from spending on goods and services, which will reduce global growth outlooks just as the World Bank Group suggested. While globalization connected the world through trade and commerce, it also linked the world’s financial problems in such a way that would resemble falling dominos. 

Protecting Your Nest Egg During Global Recessions

The abundance of issues impacting the global community makes it clear to those willing to pay attention that the economies of the world are tightening in the hands of inflation. Had central banks taken this issue seriously from the onset of the COVID pandemic, perhaps inflation would not be as devastating for investors as it is today. Due to their inaction and misguidance, inflation has no end in sight. This fact, however, does not mean investors cannot take the time to protect their hard-earned assets. Investors in the United States can meet with licensed financial advisors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania or anywhere nearby to learn how a proprietary Crash Proof Retirement System can fight inflation with a structure of investments that will protect and grow their nest eggs during uncertain times. To learn more, call 1-800-722-9728 or contact a licensed retirement phase specialist online by filling out the contact form on the Crash Proof Retirement website.

The Recession After Tomorrow

The Recession After Tomorrow

The stock market is brutalizing Wall Street investors, falling more than 17% year-to-date in August. Earlier in June, the market lost more than 20%, briefly falling into a bear market as economists anticipated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to return negative for a second consecutive quarter. When initial estimates determined that second quarter GDP contracted by 0.9%, many Americans believed that this was the official beginning of an economic recession. Under ordinary circumstances they would have been correct, but Americans are currently living through unordinary times. Although economists, government officials, and the current administration refuse to admit the reality of the situation, and deflect to a recession that may never come, Americans should know that they are in a recession today. 

After two months of arguing the merits of a real recession and technical recession, economists had a rude awakening when Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, delivered an emphatic speech on the Federal Reserve’s commitment to fight inflation. Speaking at the Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell warned that businesses and households should expect financial pain as the Fed maintains it’s aggressive push to ease inflation with their historic rate hike program. 

“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” Chairman Powell said. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.” 

The Federal Reserve has raised the federal funds rate to 2.5% so far in 2022 and is expected to go even higher until inflation is tamed. In January, economists only anticipated three rate hikes that would put the federal funds rate around 1.0% by the end of 2022. In fact, the Fed became so aggressive in their fight against inflation, they nearly raised rates a full percentage point in June, increasing rates by 75 basis points, which was the largest hike since 1994

Following Powell’s damning speech about inflation and the Fed’s unfettered commitment to bring it down, economists began to admit that a recession was inevitable, but not till 2023 and it won’t be because of higher interest rates. According to Steve Hanke, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, the reason the United States will enter a recession is due to the lack of M2 growth. M2 is the term used by the Federal Reserve to define money supply. Available data shows that from the onset of the pandemic through August 2022, M2 increased over 40% from $15.4 trillion to $21.7 trillion, thanks to a tsunami of unprecedented stimulus from the federal government. 

This argument about overstimulating the economy did not gain much traction with many economists as the Federal Reserve, Biden Administration and others referred to inflation as temporary and transitory. The team at Crash Proof Retirement®, however, has stated since April 2021 that massive stimulus efforts risked overheating the economy — history looks kindly upon those with truth and logic. When the current administration finally came around to recognize inflation as a persistent problem for Americans they pointed to a new scapegoat in February, blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for high inflation. 

The conjecture from federal officials and economists is finally coming home to roost as individuals, like Chairman Powell, are starting to say the quiet part aloud — there will be pain. Their admittance is too little too late because Americans have experienced pain for nearly two years. According to the American Enterprise Institute, inflation is causing the average household in the United States to pay an additional $450 a month for the same goods and services they were buying over a year ago. The untold truth of Powell’s statement in Jackson Hole is that Americans are going to experience more pain than what they are struggling with right now. 

Regardless of whether experts want to classify current economic conditions as a recession or not — based on consecutive GDP contractions — this fact remains the same: higher interest rates will eventually reduce the impact inflation has on Americans pocketbooks. Conversely, Americans will replace the pain of inflation with more expensive debt, as a result of higher interest rates. The New York Federal Reserve recently published their Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for August 2022, which indicated a record $16.15 trillion dollars of debt held by Americans. 

Due to higher prices, credit card debt increased 13% year-over-year, which was the largest increase since the early 2000s. Consumers carrying large amounts of variable-interest debt will not only be forced to reduce their spending to pay their bills, but if they struggle to pay their bills this opens the door for a potentially catastrophic debt crisis occurring amidst an economic recession. 

Despite these efforts to tame inflation, it is likely that inflation will persist through 2024 and the point made by Professor Hanke is a valid one. Money supply must be brought down as well, and the process of accomplishing that goal will slow the economy. This would mean that the Fed will increase bank reserves, which in turn will reduce lending and decrease economic advancement. While all of these actions threaten to place the economy in a deep recession, there is a backend risk of taxes being raised to account for increased deficits created by the ironically named, Inflation Reduction Act. 

Continuing to deny the existence of a problem, such as a recession, puts Americans and their hard-earned savings at risk, especially for those who are invested in the stock market. Conveniently, Chairman Powell made his statement at Jackson Hole just in time for investors to enter September, which has historically been the worst month for investors since 1950. It is now up to investors in or near retirement to take it upon themselves to protect their hard-earned nest eggs. For Wall Street, however, profit has always taken precedent over security. Investors can follow simple tips to avoid losing years of their precious growth time by removing the risk of volatility and fees from their investment portfolio while following a safe path, especially during this economic recession. 

The Big Lie about Gas Price Inflation

The Big Lie about Gas Price Inflation

History was made on the tenth of June when the United States crossed the gas price rubicon. The cost for a gallon of gas soared above $5 for consumers across the country, forcing the United States to take one more step towards a devastating financial recession. The rapid rise in gas prices is not only damaging American’s pocketbooks at the pump, but also weighing down their purchasing power for other items ranging from electronics to cosmetics. Unfortunately, the severity of this issue has been politicized and deflected, and rather than put an actionable plan in place to address the problem, lawmakers have instead opted to lie to the American people. 

Inflation reached 8.6% in June, which was an unexpected increase for economists and politicians who hedged their bets that inflation peaked at 8.5% in March. As the stream of misinformation flows through legacy media, here are just a few of the lies being told to deflect blame from the current administration’s lack of effort to address the growing energy crisis. 

From the White House: “Americans face rising prices at the pump because of Putin’s Price Hike.” Perhaps one of the biggest misleading claims coming from lawmakers and the current administration is that the gas price increase is a result of Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. While the invasion had a significant global impact on the supply and demand of oil and other products, such as food, the fact of the matter is that the price of gasoline was on the rise well before Putin’s invasion. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration gas prices were $2.42 when Biden took office (January 2021) and increased to $2.89 two months later. By the end of February 2022, less than a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the price of gas had risen to $3.61 — a 49% increase in 12 full months. Based on the available data it is clear that Russia’s invasion did not cause the price of gasoline to rise, rather it accelerated its inevitable rise. Remember, this was the administration that promised to make evidenced based decisions and encouraged the public to trust the science

Let’s entertain the Biden administration’s assertion that the rise in gas prices is a direct causation of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. Banning Russian oil and natural gas from being imported into the United States and Europe, as well as other parts of the world caused the available supply to dwindle. The obvious solution to filling that supply gap would be to ramp up production elsewhere to counter the sharp increase in price and thus avoid the notorious Putin Price Hike. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s Department of Interior announced in May of 2022 that they were canceling several drilling leases on more than one-million acres of land in the United States, because there was a “lack of industry interest.” Perhaps that interest was diminished by the administration’s efforts to increase environmental regulations and royalties that must be paid to the government; not to mention the 80% reduction in available federal land for drilling

While handcuffing the American energy industry, the Biden administration has continually lambasted oil companies for their greediness while parroting a popular exaggeration that oil companies determine the price of gasoline for consumers — even though only 1% of the nation’s gas stations are owned by major oil companies. This politically perilous rhetoric will likely cost Biden and his Democrat party their control of Congress come November. Determining the price of gasoline is not as basic as lawmakers would lead consumers to believe. For starters, gas prices are governed by the laws of supply and demand. Consumers are paying a price that is based on the future expectation of supply. So, as the expectation for future oil supply decreases, the price of gas is naturally going to increase. Additionally, there are several components that are baked into the price of gasoline including the price of the oil, the cost of refining that oil into gasoline, transportation costs, and federal, state, and local taxes. This would explain why a tax-heavy state like California has gas prices exceeding $6.40 per gallon, while a state like Georgia, which suspended their gas tax, has the lowest price per gallon of $4.43. 

Economists share in this strategic sleight of hand to pass financial responsibility onto someone else and mislead investors about the direction of the economy. Responding to national gas prices inflation beyond $5 per gallon, a CNBC reporter cited an economist stating, “While consumers are feeling the pain, prices are not yet at a level that would tip the economy into a recession.” The article went on to surmise that gas prices alone would not be enough to start a recession; therefore, other economic components must be involved, neglecting that oil is used for much more than producing gasoline. Ultimately, this lip service continues to threaten the security of investors’ nest eggs, and the proof is in the bear market that Wall Street reentered on June 10th (the stock market first entered bear market territory in May 2022). 

The heavy-handed price of the big lie about big oil influences every part of the United States economy, beyond consumers filling up at the pump, heating their homes or making investments. Most of what consumers purchase rely on products that were made using oil or natural gas. These include, but are not limited to toothbrushes, lipstick and other cosmetics, dentures, garden hoses, car parts, clothing, and electronics. Once again, the laws of supply and demand come into effect and as the Biden Price Hike continues, consumers will reduce their spending on goods and services and therein lies the road to recession. 

Economic Symptoms of the Ivory Tower Syndrome

Newspaper headlines depicting the economic depression

It is hard to argue that Americans are not struggling in this economy, but politicians and the mainstream media are certainly trying. Sitting atop their ivory towers, Wall Street propagandists tout labor market misinformation to paint America’s decline as an economic recovery. This calloused view, is a contagious symptom of a larger financial epidemic, which ignores conclusive evidence that suggests the United States is on the verge of entering a dark period of economic pain — worse than what consumers have already experienced with record high inflation.

In the first quarter of 2022, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the St. Louis Federal Reserve fell by a rate of 1.4% due to the United States recording a historic trade deficit as imports increased nearly 18% while exports decreased more than 5%. Economists foolishly touted that the trade deficit was financial noise and not to be taken too seriously and used this as further evidence that the country was not heading toward a recession. While the media was quick to dismiss the troubling GDP report, they joined the chorus of misinformation to say that inflation also reached a peak

Additionally, while the Biden administration spins tales about monthly job reports, Nela Richardson, the Chief Economist at ADP poured cold water on the administration’s claims that they are responsible for creating new jobs. The fact of the matter, as Richardson noted, is that the increase in labor market activity is due to jobs being recovered, not created. As a guest on CNBC, Richardson stated that the economy “hasn’t added one single job from the 2019 high water mark.” The 2019 high water mark is a reference to the record low unemployment and strong labor market conditions experienced during the previous Trump administration. She went on to say, “All the jobs that we have seen gain are recovered jobs that we lost. We are not producing new jobs…so these wage gains are coming on top of a shrinking workforce, and it’s not being fueled by productivity enhancements.” 

To those who believe that the economy is recovering, the consensus is clear — it is not. Food and energy shortages are causing complications for consumers as the price of gas seemingly sets a new record every day, and many food prices are up over double-digits in the latest Consumer Price Index report. Although consumer spending increased in the face of high inflation, this trend will soon reverse itself. Former Chief Economist for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Larry Harris, said to CNBC that it would be exceedingly difficult for the Federal Reserve to fight inflation without causing a recession in the process. Even if the Fed were to avoid a recession, it is even more likely that it will be caused by consumers repurposing their spending. 

Gas prices reached a new record of $4.91 on June 7th, which is 60% more expensive than in 2021 when gas prices were $3.06 and 136% more expensive than May of 2020 when the price of a gallon of gas was $2.08. Labor costs are also increasing throughout the United States as there are more jobs available than unemployed to fill them, and since wage increases can’t keep up with the high rate of inflation, Americans are actually losing money. The logical argument suggests that if consumers’ purchasing power decreases while prices rise, the natural reaction from Americans would be to streamline their spending as much as possible to avoid racking up massive amounts of debt. Wall Street insiders and politicians have refused to acknowledge this rational view of microeconomics. 

The same argument holds true from a macroeconomic perspective. Debt is a dead weight on a country and since the start of the pandemic, the American people have accumulated historic levels of debt. A rapid increase in housing costs forced homebuyers into more expensive mortgages as housing prices surged over 20% compared to prices in 2021, according to the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Worse than the rising price for homes is the debt that comes with the home purchase. While prices have increased so have mortgage rates, which are now at 5% or more for a 30-year mortgage. The Washington Post recently reported on Americans who purchased new homes that were under construction, who signed contracts expecting one interest rate for their mortgage and are now facing a rate that is 40- to 50% higher due to rising interest rates. 

To make matters worse, while rates and prices continue to rise, the demand for housing plummeted over 16% causing economists to become fearful of a massive housing market bubble burst, adding more financial obstacles to an already troubled economy. Additionally, as the Federal Reserve embarks on their interest rate hike campaign — and subsequent tightening of their balance sheets — credit cards and other variable forms of debt are becoming more expensive for consumers to finance, which presents a dangerous situation that could lead to a wave of financial defaults in the short to medium term. A recent report indicated that for every basis point that the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, it adds one extra dollar to every $10,000 in debt. For example, if the Fed reaches 2% interest rates before the end of 2022 — a 200-basis point increase —this would add an additional $200 in interest on every $10,000 of debt. 

Rising interest rates also have an adverse effect on the stock market and at-risk investors have lost approximately $5- to $8 trillion dollars in response to volatility on Wall Street as a result of recent economic problems and the threat of a recession. Ultimately, Americans are being financially ambushed from all fronts and the consensus is clear, the only path forward is through a deep economic recession. While politicians and Wall Street media insiders focus on pulling the wool over the eyes of at-risk American investors, the reality is that food and energy shortages, crippling inflation, and an incredibly poor stock market performance has forced the economy into a nosedive towards a financial collapse.

A Path to Follow Amidst Financial Uncertainty

Senior couple of tourists looking at map in forest
Senior couple looking at the map during the hike in forest.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. This statement, often echoed by brokers in the securities industry, underscores a common tautology — you either make money or you lose money. In simpler terms, this is how Wall Street deflects the risk of investing in assets that are tantamount to spinning a roulette wheel, or betting on a horse race. For younger Americans, this long-term gamble has a higher probability of succeeding, despite dealing with significant losses along the way. Eventually, however, the accumulation phase of an investor’s working career ends, and the investor no longer has ample recovery time when the market crashes. 

The problem that investors encounter while transitioning from the accumulation phase to the retirement phase is the threat of the unknown. Predicting the future path of the stock market is one of the biggest unknowns in the financial industry, yet financial experts conjure forecasts and spread misinformation to keep investors blinded by the lust and vanity of risk investments. As a result, brokers are woefully ill-equipped to manage the transition into the retirement phase. When the market experiences a sharp decline, as it has in 2022, retirees who are stuck with Wall Street advisors find themselves in a helpless situation as their nest eggs erode without any education on how to prevent their nest eggs from experiencing losses in the first place. This phenomenon, known as the lost grow back time, exemplifies how investors accumulated wealth, gave it back during a market crash, and then had to spend time — years in most cases — trying to earn back what was lost. This period of gain and loss represents years of stagnation in investors’ portfolios. 

To address this phenomenon, retirement phase experts utilize an economic theory known as the Look Back Principle to visibly explain how the stock market historically submerged accumulation phase investors in volatility. Investors who had their money in the S&P 500 from 2000 to 2002 would have lost nearly 50% or more of their portfolio on Wall Street and would have waited several years to regain most of what they lost (if they were lucky) before their accounts were slashed in half again during the 2008 crash. Although the index fully recovered by 2013 (14 years in total), many investors were never able to regain what they lost, for several reasons including: hidden charges and fees charged by their securities advisors that further eroded their accounts and trying to foolishly time the market. 

Investors who are in the retirement phase of their lives are in a comparable situation today. After experiencing the 2020 market crash and recovery, investors are now watching the stock market meltdown at glacier speed. As of May 20th, the stock market had collectively lost over 20% while battling volatility for several months. Factors such as high inflation — reaching 8.3% in May — supply chain delays resulting from shutdowns in China, global conflicts, and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, have all contributed to the stock market’s steady decline. The unknowns of present time question whether the market will find a bottom, while so-called experts encourage at-risk investors to buy the dip and try to discredit those who are sounding the alarm about the threat of a debilitating financial recession. 

During this time of financial uncertainty, investors in or near the retirement phase of their lives need financial guidance that prioritizes safety and security. Any advisor that cannot accomplish this simple goal is more interested in earning a paycheck from investor fees, which are paid in full regardless of whether their client earns an unrealized return. Unfortunately, many investors are unaware of safe alternatives that guarantee principal protection of an investment. This is due to brokers and investment advisors purposefully pointing their investors in the opposite direction, saying that safe financial instruments are a fraud. 

In lieu of investing in vehicles that could protect an investor’s nest egg, securities advisors encourage their clients to have a backup plan in the event that the stock market experiences a correction or crash. Even the media promotes this financially incompetent point-of-view, suggesting that retirees could transition to part-time employment, downsize from the home they’ve cultivated over the years and relocate, or simply reduce their living expenses. All of these suggestions dismiss the effect that inflation has in diminishing purchasing power. 

Although brokers and the mainstream media propagate misleading information, leaders in Davos, Switzerland were singing a different tune at the World Economic Forum. International Monetary Fund Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the global economy faces the “biggest test since the Second World War,” which serves as a significant warning for investors in at-risk assets given the amount of social, political, and economic instability just in the United States alone. Instead of waiting for these cataclysmic events to occur, investors should be prudent with their hard-earned nest eggs and learn about vehicles that can protect their money without having to worry about the stock market’s risk and fees. When analyzing the known, unknown, and yet to be discovered portions of the financial industry, Americans in or near retirement should err on the side of caution and eliminate unnecessary risk from their portfolios by meeting with a licensed retirement phase expert. Retirees are often led to believe that they must keep their assets tethered to the stock market in order to grow their nest egg, but this is simply false. With a growing number of Americans (56% according to the National Institute of Retirement Security) concerned that they will outlive their savings, the inherent risk of the stock market is counterintuitive to the established goal of security and peace of mind in retirement.

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