THE BIG PICTURE!

Do you have ALL of the pieces?

(Part one of a two-part series)

The Big Picture

“No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”– Brian Tracy

As we progress in life, we grow in knowledge and experience and as a result come to understand that things aren’t always as they seem, or aren’t really they way we believe them to be. Adults understand more than children. Teachers understand more than their students, up until the student totally masters the subject and moves on. As long as we have air in our lungs, we still have opportunities to educate ourselves and improve our lives. Knowledge, like money, is power. Just as the rich ‘rule over’ the poor, the smart ‘rule over’ the stupid. The problem is there are more uneducated people in the world than there are educated ones. There are more lazy people then there are industrious. There are more unsuccessful people than successful.

One piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 1

What if I told you that the photo above was a picture of a priceless work of art, valued at almost a billion dollars.  You’d look at that picture, scratch your head in wonder and confusion, and probably say that only an idiot would pay that, or that you could paint a better picture and deserve the money more.   

America has a free market, capitalist economy. As a result, we have created more wealthy, successful people than any other country in the world.

The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916, and still holds the title of history’s wealthiest individual. The majority of billionaires and millionaires in the world are Americans.  

Last month, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY said a society that allows billionaires to exist while some Americans live in abject poverty is “immoral.”

Becoming rich, educated, and successful doesn’t happen by accident, or overnight. It takes years and hard work.  Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man on Earth. He started Amazon.com twenty years ago, selling books on the internet, from  his home. He took advantage of the law of supply and demand, and overtime built the powerhouse that his company has become. Simply put, he gave people what they wanted, at a price they were willing to pay, and made a profit doing it.

The second piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 2

What if I told you that the picture above was the exact same piece of art. Again, you’d probably compare the two, say they were different, that the second was better than the first, and that both were worthless, and that you could do better.

As I stated previously,  There are more uneducated, lazy, unsuccessful people in the world than those who have decided to improve their lives. In some countries, it is impossible to rise above one’s lot in life, and that is why so many foreigners desire to immigrate to America. In the USA, you have opportunities to succeed beyond your wildest dreams, IF you’re willing to work long and hard to achieve those goals.  Unfortunately,  Saul Alinsky’s protégés  have used his playbook to stir up class envy among the poor and uneducated masses, those he refers to as ‘useful idiots’.  The same  Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY also stated just hours after getting elected as the youngest  state representative EVER that she was NOT ABLE to afford to pay her rent for a new apartment. According to cheatsheet.com , at 29 years old, the young congress woman’s net worth is under $7,000. She was only making $26,600 annually before being elected and has been paying down college debts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000.  She was able to bamboozle her constituents to electing her by essentially offering them free lunch.  If she has no understanding of  microeconomics, is it any wonder she is mystified by macroeconomics?

If you’re unfamiliar with those two terms, very simply put:

  • Microeconomics are personal financial issues such as planning your vacation, budgeting your money , paying your rent, etc.        
  • Macroeconomics are large scale financial issues like how business and even entire countries handle their economies.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both lobbied long and hard to bring AMAZON to NY. Massive tax-break incentives were offered and as a result, a deal was struck for a proposed location in Long Island City.

aocnoamazon

Days ago,  Jeff Bezos abandoned this proposed plan to build a new AMAZON distribution hub and second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens NY because of opposition created by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She was enraged that the richest man on the planet was going to receive a $3,000,000,000 tax BREAK to open this new location. A TAX BREAK. He was not getting three billion dollars from the city, he was getting a discount on future tax liabilities!  Yet this buffoon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez killed the deal by insulting Mr. Bezos, his company, and his employees, and inciting protests.  The new location would have created 26,000 new jobs, with benefits , starting at $15 per hour, and paying up to six-figure salaries.  There is  no estimate on the incalculable  collateral damage to the city’s economy.

aocdumass

 

The BIG Picture!

mona-lisa-67506_640

If you step back far enough  to see THE ENTIRE PICTURE, everything makes sense.  The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci painted in 1503. It’s located in France in the Louvre Museum (since 1797). It’s one of a kind, like the USA.  There are millions of artists in the world, and many of them can work in oil paint, and even reproduce a decent facsimile of the Mona Lisa if they really wanted to.   There are also ‘artists’ that use animal dung, or urine as a medium. And there are dummies who would also pay for such works of ‘art’ produced by so-called ‘artists’.  There is ONLY ONE Mona Lisa, and ONLY ONE America. There are many idiots in the world that hate both, and believe they could produce something ‘better’. President Trump sees the BIG PICTURE and is doing everything that needs to be done to repair the damages done by prior administrations and by career politicians intent on seizing as much power as they can. 

There are also some people who claim to see an ‘even bigger picture’.  There are many conspiracy theories out there that claim unknown, unseen forces are conspiring to destroy the USA, and that these same forces are behind creating THE FED, the massive government debt, and the political smear campaign that is being waged against President Donald J. Trump by various media outlets. I don’t really buy into conspiracy theories, but as comedian George Carlin once said, “you should never underestimate the power  of stupid people   in large groups.”   For those who choose to believe in a ‘BIGGER PICTURE’ I’ll discuss Q Anon, the Illuminati, and other popular conspiracy theories next week in the second half of this article, A GAME OF KINGS. Until then, keep watching the skies! As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

How Radical!

Saul Alinsky’s protégés!

HOW RADICAL

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”— President Donald J. Trump,  2nd SOTU Address February 5th 2019

The United States is the most prosperous country in the history of the world, and all of the freedoms we enjoy in this country are a direct result of the protections of liberty that were written into the constitution by our Founding Fathers. It is the duty of the President to follow and protect the constitution, and to protect our great nation from all threats both foreign and domestic.  We are a nation of immigrants. There is a very small percentage of our population that is actually descended from the native American Indians. (Unlike senator Elizabeth Warren, who claimed for years to be one.)    Even those original native Americans are theorized by archaeologists to have been immigrants from Asia who crossed over an ice bridge that once existed thousands of years ago.    

         

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! —Psalm 33:12 ESV 

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; — Psalm 1:1 ESV 

It comes as no surprise that most of the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, although most college students today are being taught the opposite. They are also being taught that the USA is a horrible nation that was stolen from the noble native Americans, that socialism is better than capitalism, that God is not real, that the Bible is an outdated book filled with contradictions, That president Trump is an evil man liken unto Adolf Hitler, and even that we ourselves caused the events of September 11th 2001 because of the way our country treats other nations.  Sadly many of the youth of our nation have been targeted by liberals from a very early age, and they lack the knowledge and the moral compass to see though these lies.

Let the Liberal turn to the course of action, the course of all Radicals, and the amused look vanishes from the face of society as it snarls, “That’s radical!” Society has good reason to fear the Radical. [Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the Radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know’ that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives.”– Saul Alinsky from his 1st book  Reveille for Radicals (1946)

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an expert at stirring up discord and organizing discontented mobs to use them to overthrow authority. He preached his message to the counter-culture movement during the 1960s. His tactics have been used time and time again by liberal Democrats to attempt to destroy our great country.  Alinsky wrote three books, a biography of John L Lewis, founder of the CIO, and his most infamous book Rules for Radicals, which is an expansion and update of his first book, Reveille for Radicals.  

Saul Alinsky’s Rules

  • “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
  • “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
  • “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
  • “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
  • “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
  • “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
  • “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
  • “Keep the pressure on.”
  • “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
  • “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
  • “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”
  • “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
  • “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Using these rules to organize the mob, Saul Alinsky then believes a nation can be converted to socialism is just 8 steps:

  • 1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people
  • 2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
  • 3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
  • 4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
  • 5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
  • 6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.
  • 7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
  • 8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Does any of this sound familiar? It comes as no surprise that EVERY Democrat in power today has read and used his template to attempt to turn the United States into a socialist nation so that they can seize permanent power and be in charge of everything while claiming responsibility for nothing.  It is the goal of every member of the Democratic party to remain in power for life.

I would also like to point out two last things to those who STILL think Saul Alinsky was such a wonderful person:

He credits Satan on his dedication page of his last book

 “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins— or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom —Lucifer.” —SAUL  ALINSKY

and

(In an interview with Playboy Magazine.)

 “if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.” —SAUL  ALINSKY

When the USA began, the creators of our great nation envisioned that government leadership would be temporary, not a lifelong career.  Every president with ONE exception has served NOT MORE THAN two terms. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), a Democrat and the 32nd president is the ONLY president to have served FOUR terms, dying in office as ‘President for Life’ on April 12th 1945. His unprecedented power grab was excused away as being a necessity as the nation was in the middle of World War II.  The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution  now limits a president to the tradition two terms established by George Washington.  FDR  is responsible for creating many of the government welfare programs like social security which have enslaved many of our citizens to ‘cradle-to-grave’ government dependency, much like Woodrow Wilson (also a Democrat) enslaved our nation to debt.   The greatest presidents of our nation in every century have all been Republicans. The only exception to this is our First President, George Washington (a Whig) and this is only because the GOP wasn’t created yet.

  • 18th Century – George Washington #1
  • 19th Century – Abraham Lincoln #16
  • 20th Century – Ronald Reagan #40
  • 21st Century – Donald J. Trump #45

I became a Christian in college, and I am a lifelong Republican. I have supported President Donald J. Trump since day one, and will continue to do so until my dying breath.  I’m not going to tell you what I think about people who hate my God Jesus, my president, or my country. It isn’t a very nice thing to say.  I will tell you that Donald Trump is a great man who is working hard to undo many of the damages caused by liberal Democrat socialists who have been trying to destroy this great nation. I will tell you that God is real, and the Bible is true, and that anyone who lacks God in their life doesn’t have much of a life at all. God is good always.  As always, I wish you success and happiness!

The Bank That Woody Built!

It’ll be the ‘DEBT’ of you!

the Bank That Woody Built

 

(This is the second of a two part article. For part one, read A FEDERAL CASE?)

 “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” ― Winston S. Churchill

The State Of The Union

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams presented this address in person. Thomas Jefferson the third US president felt that proclaiming the state of the nation personally to congress was akin to a king addressing his subjects. Since the Revolutionary War was about freedom from tyranny, the similarity bothered Jefferson. He began the tradition of mailing the written State of The Union address to congress so that they may read it at their leisure and study its contents to best determine how to serve the national interests. This tradition lasted for more than a century.

“I turn to matters of domestic concern. You already have under consideration a bill for the reform of our system of banking and currency, for which the country waits with impatience, as for something fundamental to its whole business life and necessary to set credit free from arbitrary and artificial restraints. I need not say how earnestly I hope for its early enactment into law. I take leave to beg that the whole energy and attention of the Senate be concentrated upon it till the matter is successfully disposed of. And yet I feel that the request is not needed-that the Members of that great House need no urging in this service to the country.”– Woodrow Wilson, State of the Union Address December 2nd 1913  

Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the US. One of his many personal goals to ‘improve’ the nation was to reform the banking system, and to establish a federal income tax. Wilson was so passionate about establishing a new national banking system that he decided to ‘buck the system’ and personally deliver  his State of The Union address in person. He was the first president to do so since John Adams in 1800. Wilson believed that his oratory skills would convince congress to pass the bank bill.  Unfortunately for our nation, he succeeded.  In addition to getting The Federal Reserve Act passed In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the constitution was also ratified that same year, permanently legalizing an income tax.

800px-fed_reserve

Over a  century of financial slavery!

All banks in the USA are required by law to be members of the Federal Reserve Bank, according to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. As members, they are required to own debt to the Federal Reserve Bank A.K.A. ‘The Fed’ . The Fed is a privately owned bank, owned by private stockholders, and NOT affiliated with the United States government in any way, except for the fact that the US government must own a certain amount of debt to The Fed, and that the US president must appoint a chairman to The Fed. Candidates on the list for consideration by the president have been hand-picked by The Fed, and he is required to choose ONE from that list. He can’t pick anyone not of the list. So, based upon the candidates offered he would choose whom he felt was the best qualified, even if no one on the list has any qualifications to speak of what-so-ever.  If you’ve ever wondered why the president appointed a certain person to chair The Fed, and not someone else, it’s because he never really had the choice to choose anyone else in the first place.

To explain it better think of when in the Bible, Pontius Pilate presented Jesus and Barabbas to the crowd and asked them whom they wanted set free.  In all four gospel accounts, Pilate lobbies for Jesus to be spared his eventual fate of execution, and acquiesces only when the crowd refuses to relent.  Pilate tried to stack the deck in Jesus’ favor by putting him up against a known murderer and insurrectionist. This should have made the choice an obvious one.  Yet, the crowd chose to free Barabbas over Jesus, whom Pilate was then forced to crucify, and the rest is history.

The Paper Trail       

Banks make money through service charges and debt-loans, the latter ranging from unsecured personal loans and  credit cards, up to  various secured loans such as home, auto, or business. These loans are provided by the magic of fractional reserve banking. Banks are loaning out more money than they have based upon the premise that the debts owed will return more money overtime than the original amount financed, thus earning a return on the investment, or ROI.

Nearly the entirety of the money banks loan out has, in turn been ‘borrowed’ from the Federal Reserve Bank, which sells the debt to the smaller banks.  As for any cash deposits that banks receive from its customers, they are required to retain a fraction of the deposit, and they can loan out the rest. All deposits are insured up to $250,000 per account, so even if the bank should become insolvent and fail, the Federal Reserve will make good on the deposit.

Where does The Fed get all this money that it ‘loans’ to banks?

dollar-1443244_960_720

Roll the presses!

The US dollar is really just a promissory note, printed by the US Mint for The Fed. It is not backed by any form of precious metal such as gold or silver. It is just backed by goods and services equal to its value. The Fed tells you that the paper note they had the US Mint print has value, but in reality it’s just a  paper I.O.U. Without a hard currency standard fixing its rate, the dollar is susceptible to inflation when the costs of goods rise, devaluing the dollar requiring you to need more dollars to buy the same item when the price is raised.  So this essentially worthless paper labeled as a ‘Federal Reserve Note’  is merely a tool, a place-holder that is exchanged for an item of value despite having no real value of its own, only the say-so of the Federal Reserve telling you that it’s worth a dollar. Whenever a member bank requires a loan from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Fed either orders the Mint to print more money to be shipped to the bank for its needs  if physical bills are needed, or just adds a credit note to the ledger of debts owed. Like when a credit card issuer  tells you your credit limit has been raised so you can spend more money you don’t have on things you don’t really need.

Think of it as ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. It’s a vast ponzi scheme that could collapse at any point. This is why runs on banks cause mass hysteria when large numbers of customers try to withdraw all their funds at the same time, and the bank doesn’t have enough physical money on hand to meet the demand because they are only required to keep a fraction of collected money in its vaults while the rest is loaned out, and interest is changed.

An even worse realization is that the US Government gets all of its money directly from taxes collected , and any budgetary shortfalls short falls are borrowed from the Fed, which charges the US government interest on the loans.  When you control the currency of a nation, you control that nation. The borrower is slave to the lender!  

As the amounts of debt owed by the government now exceeds $25 trillion dollars, the interest alone is greater than the total amount collected from all tax payers! National security not only applies to a border wall to prevent illegal immigration, or a strong military to defend us from potential enemies, it also applies to financial security.  Only a fool spends more money than they earn. This is why budget cuts are not only needed, but MUST be allowed to happen.  The country is broke, and if our loan is ever ‘called’ this nation is in serious trouble. As always, I wish you success and happiness!

Time for a do-over?

Reset the clock!

time for a do-over

“Clocks are made by men, God creates time. No man can prolong his allotted hours, he can only live them to the fullest – in this world or in the Twilight Zone.” — Rod Serling

Welcome to the first week of the New Year, 2019. There was no blog post last week for the first time since the inception of http://www.InstantCoffeeWisdom.com back in September of 2017. I felt it was appropriate to schedule a break over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period.  Today is Sunday, January 6th.  Some Christians still refer to this day as Epiphany, or the Twelfth-Day, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi. In a few countries around the world, it is almost as big a celebration as Christmas Day itself. Here in the USA, not so much. Epiphany spelled with a lowercase ‘e’ is also a word to describe a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience. There is nothing more commonplace then the annual changing of the calendar, and the start of the new year.   It is a do-over, a time for new beginning and a fresh start as we lay the past to rest.

“The place is here…the time is now…and the journey into the shadows that we’re about to watch could be our journey…” —Rod Serling’s opening narration to The Twilight Zone’s pilot episode, “Where is Everybody?,” October 2, 1959

For the past twenty years in the USA, the cable TV SYFY channel (originally called Sci-Fi) has celebrated New Year’s Eve by broadcasting a Twilight Zone marathon.  This classic television program from October 2, 1959 through June 19, 1964 depicted weekly tales of bizarre, supernatural occurrences and the effects of such on an ever-changing cast of characters. The show has been revived several times and a new version is in the works. The title of the show is so recognizable that it has become a colloquial term to describe any bizarre or ludicrous situation or behavior that rears its ugly head to cause chaos or havoc.

Sometimes things really do happen which are beyond our control. But only sometimes. Often we bring these unfortunate things upon our on heads due to poor planning, stupidity, and/or laziness. No one ever promised that life would be easy, or fair, but it is worth it, and there are countless opportunities to reset the clock, and begin anew. The key is both to learn from our mistakes and to not quit. Quitters never win, and winners never quit.     

Perception is the lens which defines our reality.

Are things really as bad as we ‘think’ they are? Or do we make our situations far worse by convincing ourselves as we bemoan our circumstances? One surefire way to determine progress is to diligently keep track of the pertinent data, and recording your findings  on a regular schedule, then track the records by journals or charts. As negative trends emerge, you will become aware of them early on and be able to correct the course before you sail into dangerous waters. As this is still just the first week of the new year, there is still time to run out and buy a calendar/planner book for you to chart your progress throughout the new year. I do this religiously every year, and have been doing so for most of my adult life. Keeping records and tracking progress has been instrumental in keeping a positive outlook, and propelled me further on the path of success, keeping miles ahead of The Marching Morons.

There are many people in media who keep informing us about how terrible the US financial markets were in 2018, and how 2018 was the worst year for the market in eleven years, and that is was the worst December since The Great Depression of 1931. Yes, I too reported a SLIGHT loss in my net-worth for 2018. (4.7%) If I offset my loss by my gains of the last decade, it is nearly non-existent, a mere pittance. So tell me Great Kreskin, what does 2018 predict for 2019?  Only a fool would bet against the mighty economy of this country.

How do you eat an elephant?

The elephant is the largest animal on land. There’s an old saying. ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ The answer is ‘One bite at a time’ . Sometime we have grand ambitions and lofty goals. The key to accomplishing these lay in proper planning and by breaking down the larger parts of the goal into smaller, more manageable sub-goals. The original task in its entirety may seem overwhelming, but by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable jobs, you can slowly accomplish the big picture, while bolstered by noticeable progress as you tick-off boxes on your to-do list. Again, as this is THE FIRST WEEK OF 2019, There is still time to plan out your goals and sub-goals by week, month, and quarter. You have an entire new year to improve various aspects of your life. Some goals can be worked on simultaneously, as they may complement one another if done in tandem. One example of tandem goals is the two-fold goal of eating healthier, and exercising. Both work best when done together. When you complete your goals, mark then down. Successful people work from lists and write things down! Don’t be afraid to start small, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The most important part is to START. Just keep your goals clear and measurable, and write them down. Set reminders on your phone or calendar planner book. Enlist the help of friends as ‘accountability buddies’ if you need to. Begin at the beginning, and repeat to completion! You got this in the bag!

Which way to the front?

We were all newbies once, so we’ve all experienced the uncertainty of where to begin. Here’s a few self-improvement suggestions for helping to jog your journey to a ‘new and improved’ you.

  • Drink a liter of water every day, and eliminate soda. (water good, soda bad!)
  • Exercise.
  • Cut out meat for one meal a week. (Better yet, become a vegetarian like me)
  • Eat a cup of veggies at lunch and dinner.
  • Go to bed before 10 P.M. (Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.)
  • Start a budget
  • STOP USING YOUR CREDIT CARDS! (Go cash only, if possible.)
  • Save 20% of every paycheck.
  • Take ‘The 52-week Challenge’!
  • Get 30 minutes of ‘ME-TIME’ every day.
  • KILL YOUR TELEVISION
  • Limit internet/social media usage.
  • Discover a podcast
  • Read one chapter of a book 3 times a week.
  • Read the Bible. (God is good, always!)

Start today, and before you know it, you’ll have developed good habits that will eventually add up to a fresh new you! As always I wish you success and happiness!  

A Polar Bear Market?

Can Santa tame the beast?

A POLAR BEAR MARKET

2018 has been a financial roller-coaster. Essentially, after a fantastic start, the financial markets had two corrections in one year before entering bear territory in what has been the worst December for the markets since 2011. With one shortened trading week and a day next week left, it is unlikely that the markets will close in the black this year. For nervous investors, this has been a financial heart-attack. The Dow is still in correction but poised to potentially enter a bear market, as is the S&P 500 which has reported that over 60% of its member companies are bleeding red. On Friday, the Nasdaq Composite confirmed that it is officially in a bear market for the first time since 2008.    

A very important thing to remember is that despite the negative financial press, the market is still up compared to where it was two years ago. in fact, before the Dow hit its record in January, it had set 96 new record closing highs since the 2016 presidential election.

Date Jan 3 Jan 4 Jan 5 Jan 9 Jan 11
Close 24,922.68 25,075.13 25,295.87 25,385.80 25,574.73
           
Date Jan 12 Jan 17 Jan 22 Jan 24 Jan 25
Close 25,803.19 26,115.65 26,214.60 26,252.12 26,392.79
           
Date Jan 26 Sep 20 Sep 21  Oct 2  Oct 3
Close 26,616.71 26,656.98 26,743.50 26,773.94 26,828.39

In all, the Dow Jones set 15 record closing records in 2018, and has had over 111 new record closing highs since Donald J. Trump was elected President in 2016. As of the close of business on Friday December 21st 2018, the 52 week high-low range for the DOW was 22,396.34 – 26,951.81 .

For comparison let’s look at the closing numbers of all three US stock indexes for the same day of December from 2016 to 2018

INDEX Dec 21st 2016 Dec 21st 2017 Dec 21st 2018
DOW 19,941.96 24,782.29 22,445.37
S&P  2,265.18 2,684.57 2,416.62
Nasdaq  5,471.43 6,965.36 6,332.99

  

Consulting the data in the chart above shows that although we show financial losses over the past 52 weeks, the gap between the losses is not as great as the peaks and valleys of the highs and lows experienced in 2018, and if you go back another year to 2016, we are way ahead of where we are now vs. then.  

This is why people who panic and pull their funds out of the market every time they hear a negative financial report lose money. This is why it is important to keep records, and focus on the big picture instead of reacting to every negative tidbit that we overhear. If you would have pulled all your money out of the market on December 21st 2016, and put in it a jar under your bed, you would have LOST money. Likewise, when the markets re-bounded in October, had you moved your funds out of the market, you could have locked in gains. As I am an optimist and felt the market would rise even higher in December, I rolled the dice and got craps. Despite this, I have still NOT LOST MONEY, because I am still invested in the market, and the market will rebound again, in time. You cannot time the market. Statistics have proven that attempting to time the market’s highs and lows do not provided as high a return as staying the course and playing the long game. One of the best books I have read on this topic is Unshakeable by Tony Robbins. Market panics are often caused by fools that don’t really know what they are doing. Knowledge is power and the more you read and retain, the greater your potential for success in life. All of the information that I have read indicates that the Dow will hit 30,000 by the end of Trump’s first term, and will hit 50,000 at the end of his second term when he wins re-election in 2020. Make no bones about it, if President Trump does not get re-elected in 2020, it would be a financial disaster for the USA. In the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 10 of the 20 best single-day gains occurred so far under his administration. No other US president has done better.     

  • 03/26/18 +669
  • 11/28/18 +618
  • 02/06/18 +567
  • 10/16/18 +548
  • 11/07/18 +545
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I understand that there is a sizable percentage of the population that has been misled into thinking that Donald Trump is bad for America. The majority of successful people would tend to disagree because President Trump is good for business, and business is what drives our economy and creates jobs. I did not become rich by accident, or because I won the lottery, or received an inheritance. I worked hard, studied, and invested my money. I am a life-long Republican and support president Trump 100%. You can choose to love the president like I do, or you can continue to sit in your negative echo-chamber and sulk like some Grinch.

GRINCH

We are responsible for the choices we make in life, and it is a hard thing to change our mind about long-held beliefs. No one is keeping you from succeeding in life except yourself. Not God, not your parents, not president Trump. You!   You are the architect of your own happiness or misery, and as long as you have air in your lungs, you have the potential  to change your life for the better. You can do it, I believe in you!

InstantCoffeeWisdom.com will return on Sunday, January 6th 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As Always, I wish you success and happiness!

Fruitcake! Oh, you shouldn’t have!

Making the case for giftcards.

Fruitcake

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year according to numerous cards, songs, and movies. For some people the holidays are filled with stress as they obsess over various topics some of which are related to the practice of gift giving. ‘Tis the season to go broke for many people who go way over-budget on holiday spending. Unfortunately, many times we  end up giving some people on our lists ‘the perfect gift’ which ends up being something they wouldn’t have purchased for themselves ever, even if it was on sale 95% off, and they had just received a huge Christmas bonus in their paycheck.  Everyone has different tastes, and some people are just impossible to buy presents for.

To top it all off, It’s probably also impossible to get gifts for our entire family, as well as every friend you know.  So we agonize over who gets a gift and who doesn’t.

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!”

In the 1983 film ‘A Christmas Story’, a young boy named Ralphie obsesses over the only gift he wants for Christmas, a Red Rider BB gun. Everyone he tells this to, including the mall Santa, admonishes him that he’ll shoot his eye out.  It’s a silly movie, and a little fun. I’ve watched it and at least one cable channel TNT shows the movie on a continuous loop each Christmas, but it’s no ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Now life seen through the eyes of a child are very different from the view of an adult. When we were kids, our parents were probably the only ones who knew what we wanted for Christmas, and as children our lives were over if ‘Santa’ failed to deliverer the coveted item. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a spoiled brat as a child and cried when I got sensible presents like socks and a warm coat. Now as a grown up, I want what ‘I want’, and sometimes I get an undesirable gift. It’s disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world.

The gift that keeps getting given.

One ‘option’ that we as adults have adopted to deal with the unwelcome gift is the practice of ‘re-gifting’. Re-gifting in and of itself is not a  bad thing, but it can backfire. Whenever you re-gift, make sure it’s not in the same circle of friends, and NEVER EVER EVER re-gift  within your family. You don’t want to give the fruitcake ‘Aunt Francis’ gave you, to ‘Uncle Billy’.  Also make absolutely certain that there is no tag or personal note anywhere in the gift that identifies it as a ‘re-gift’. Think of these ‘twice-given’ gifts as recycling, and as a way of being thrifty. Just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t appreciate it.  If it’s something that you absolutely ‘hate’ keep in mind that re-gifting a despised item may elicit the same reaction in the receiver as it did you. If they in turn re-gift the gift, it might end up coming back to haunt you, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, or that infamous  fruitcake that seems to be the same fruitcake that has been around, and around, and around.  

Paper or plastic?

Cash is king, but some people still think of cash as an impersonal gift. Sticking bills in a envelope is probably the easiest gift you can wrap. The other option is the gift card. Like cash, a gift card enables you to give a gift that the recipient ACTUALLY wants, as opposed to what you think would be perfect for them. Gift cards have come a long way from the days of the paper gift certificate.  Some of today’s gift cards (BUT NOT ALL) can even be purchased by credit card. Some gift cards are VISA/Mastercard ‘money cards’ and are good at any merchant. Store cards are good only at that store. You can’t use a Burger King gift card at McDonald’s.  As a result gift cards are now the most popular Christmas gifts among adults, and are also the most easily ‘re-giftable’ gift, second only to cash.  

Children don’t understand the economics of Christmas. For them, it’s all about the toys. For adults, it not about what’s under the tree, it’s who is around it that really matters. Money is a renewable resource, but people are  finite and when we’re gone, we are gone.   So as we head into the final days of the Christmas season, keep it simple and remember that it’s the thought that counts. As always, I wish you success and happiness! 

Is It Legit?

Beware ‘professional ‘ beggars.

isitlegit

He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor. Proverbs 22:9

The United States of America is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, and  more charitable donations per capita flow from the US than from other nations.  As a country we are blessed with both the largest percentages of Christians and millionaires. These two groups donate more money to charities than any other according to numerous reports. Because of this abundance of wealth, there are numerous scam artists who prey upon the charity and good will of the generous by flipping the script to take advantage.

Earlier this year, you may have heard this heartwarming story in the national news media about this poor woman who was trying to make it home,  but her car broke down when it ran out of gas on I-95 outside of Philly. A homeless vet gave her $20, enabling her to get the much needed petrol for her car. In gratitude, her and her boyfriend befriended the man and set up an online GoFundMe donation account to help this wonderful homeless veteran. As the story went viral, donations poured in and the account grew to more than $400,000. A wonderful story.

gofundme-controversy

Except that’s all it was, a story. The entire account was a fiction, and all three parties were involved in the scam. The vet was indeed homeless, but the couple Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure, conspired with homeless man Johnny Bobbitt  and solicited his help as the face of their campaign. The plan backfired when the amounts received from good-hearted donors spiraled out of control. Greed over the size of the split of the ill-gotten gains is what ultimately undid the trio. Bobbit felt all the money belonged to him, as he was really homeless. Mastermind Mark D’Amico believed Bobbit was only entitled to a portion of the money, so Johnny Bobbitt got a lawyer and sued.  As a result of the legal action and the resulting media attention on the high-profile case, the elaborate plot unraveled and all three were jailed and charged with theft by deception. GoFundMe has agreed to refund the donations collected.  

jail

“There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.”

The Naked City was a TV crime drama broadcast  from 1959-1963 and based on a 1948 film of the same name. Each episode ended with the iconic line about the eight million stories, a reference to the location, set in New York City, and implying that everyone has a story to tell. As I stated before, the USA is the land of plenty, and we do have homeless and poor, but no one staves in this country except by choice, or by malice. There has never been a famine our country, but there are many stupid people who make bad decisions and then want to blame others for their misfortune, or at least make them feel bad.  It reminds me of a biblical account of a famine in ancient Samaria found in the second book of Kings.  

2 Kings 6:26-30

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackcloth on his body.

That’s a pretty terrible tale, but it points out poor decision skills, taking advantage of both stupidity and of wealth, and while you feel sympathetic for the victims there are some people that just can’t be helped. It’s not totally clear exactly what type of help the woman is soliciting, but it is implied that she is seeking justice against the woman who scammed her.

Jesus said we will always have the poor among us. I’m not into the so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel’ which preaches that God wants us to be rich and successful, because by becoming wealthy we are in a much better position to help others.  There is some truth in this logic, but remember that even the Devil can quote scripture and twist it’s meaning to suit his purposes. There’s a scam out there for every legitimate cause, and they prey upon your sympathy.  A ‘church by mail’ called Saint Mathews Churches of Tulsa OK is one such scam that sends out mailings splattered with scriptures and religious iconography promising great blessings in return for ‘seed offerings’.  Some televangelists also fall into this category.

stmatt

Sometimes it’s hard to separate ‘the wheat from the chaff’. Sometimes it’s impossible, so don’t feel bad if you gave in error to a fake one. Live and learn, and move on.  Good people want to help others, and every organization needs SOME funding for its own overhead.  Some organizations are just ‘squeaky wheels’ that exist to cry for donations while little of the funds reach their intended targets.  I’m a firm believer in supporting LOCAL organizations. The best nation-wide charities like The Salvation Army  https://www.salvationarmyusa.org   or Toys For Tots   https://www.toysfortots.org  can get by on a minimal razor-thin operating budget and have LOCAL offices that cater to the LOCAL community. 

If you have any concerns about a charity, you can see how they rank up to similar charities by using the https://www.charitynavigator.org/  website. Charity Navigator is the largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities in the United States providing data on 1.8 million nonprofits.  

This doesn’t mean that every need has an accredited 501-c charity that exists to back it. Sometimes, legitimate needs do ‘pop-up’ unexpectedly, due to tragedy or stupidity, or both. Many of these hard luck cases turn to GoFundMe.com  There are many true needs out there that need to be met, but like the couple and the vet who scammed over  $400,000 some of these ‘needs’ might be fake. Whenever you donate money, never donate more than you can afford to, never feel bad if you have to say ‘no’, and never, ever, EVER donate money if you feel like you are being FORCED to give. Extortion is just as illegal as theft by deception. I have heard of people who used GoFundMe to raise funds for funerals, medical expenses, and because they lost their home in a fire. I once even donated money to a homeless Superman impersonator who had been mugged, had his teeth knocked out, and was robbed of his cape and super-suit. I have also heard of  people who used   GoFundME because they felt they were entitled to lots of money for their upcoming birthday, or who needed rent money because ‘they just didn’t have it’.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes people are just stupid and make bad decisions.  All things come from God and you are the steward  of the riches He has bestowed upon you. How you choose to distribute from your bounty is a matter of your heart, and only God can judge you because He knows the truth behind ever human heart. As always, I wish you success and happiness.