Are you planning for $90 ice cream cones?

Exclusive: Jody Tallal explains why inflation is ‘the silent killer’ for future retirees

In my past couple of columns, we have discussed the first two out of four financial fallacies that will ruin your financial future. Fallacy No. 3 is: Not seeing inflation as your biggest financial problem.

Most people see taxes as their biggest financial obstacle. However, as we have discussed in past columns, inflation is your biggest financial challenge that each of us must overcome.

Inflation can destroy your chances of ever retiring if you do not take action today to overcome its incredible influence. Let me give you a simple example of the real impact of longterm inflation.

Fifty years ago, a candy bar cost a nickel; an ice cream cone cost 10 cents; and movie tickets were $1.25. Today, a candy bar costs $1.25 (25 times more); an ice cream cone costs $3 for one scoop (30 times more); and movie tickets are $13 in most major cities (an increase of 10 times). The reason I am using 50 years in this example is that this is the average number of years a person works in their lifetime. Therefore, look at the costs of these same items starting today for a 20 year old when he or she retires at age 70.

If things only stay the same and don’t get any worse, in another 50 years, it will cost $31.25 to buy a candy bar; $90 for an ice cream cone; and $130 to go to the movies. In addition, this is not projecting anything other than what has already occurred in the last 50 years. With over $20 trillion dollars in federal debt, inflation can easily get far worse.

“Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success” is an easy-to-read financial primer from a man who revolutionized the personal financial management industry. Jody Tallal’s latest book offers timeless lessons for financial success, no matter your occupation, salary or personal savings

This is the reality of inflation. In planning for long-term financial goals, you need to be thinking in very large numbers that far exceed what most people think is rational. You will need much more money than you think if you want to have a large enough asset base at retirement to meet your needs, or have enough money set aside to pay for college educations.

Let us focus for a minute on the cost of college educations to get a better feel for how inflation is affecting that. According to investment management company Vanguard, the average costs for college in 18 years, including tuition, fees and room and board, will be $54,000 a year for a public school and $120,000 a year for private schools. That is almost $500,000 for 4 years of education at a private school and a quarter of a million dollars at for a public school per child. How many children or grandchildren do you plan to help?

The financially trained person realizes that inflation is the silent killer, and the only way to offset its incredible impact is through investing in assets that grow faster than inflation after taxes. If your investment can earn more than inflation, then they will completely neutralizes its negative impact. Therefore, start researching different investment areas to find those that grow because of inflation instead of lose money because of it.

If you wait to start your investment until later, it is like watching this whole ball game from the bleachers. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing you can do from there that can impact the game.

The financially trained person knows that if you are not actively playing the game, down there on the field in real time, you will most likely end up one of those statistics I referenced at the beginning of this series of columns.

Read more about Jody Tallal, a pioneer in the financial-advice industry, in the WND story announcing his new column


‘Give doctors the option to work extra time for free instead of paying income taxes’

WASHINGTON – As the Senate debates a way to fix America’s broken healthcare system – at least get it back to where it was before Obamacare, one successful author and businessman has a suggestion.

Jody Tallal, author of “Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success,” has been a personal finance manager for wealthy professionals since the 1970s and was a recipient of the President’s Medal of Merit from Ronald Reagan.

He has shared with WND some of his ideas for cutting the costs of Medicare and Medicaid while still making sure that poorer Americans still receive the healthcare they need.

He developed a course to train doctors studying at Baylor Medical School, University of Tennessee Health Sciences, and Tulane Medical School on how to manage their money.

Tallal’s proposal is simple: instead of reimbursing doctors through Medicare and Medicaid for treating low income patients, give them a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit to do so.

“Under my proposal, any doctor could voluntarily choose to see a special-needs (low-income) patient as designated by whatever standard Congress wanted to develop,” Tallal told WND. “Instead of receiving a check from Medicare for their services, they would receive a Tax Credit Certificate, redeemable dollar for dollar, off of their income tax bill. This would give doctors the option to work extra time for free instead of paying income taxes and most doctors would line up for such an opportunity.”

Access to the lessons of “Billionaire Cab Driver” are only a click away, at the WND Superstore. Explore it now!

Obamacare was created to make sure poorer people got the healthcare they needed. Tallal believes that it failed in that endeavor, and only served to make healthcare more expensive for everyone else.

“The thought of poor people not having access to healthcare seem unfair to many and they felt the government should step in a solve this,” he said. “[Obamacare] did not significantly reduce this issue. At the time Obamacare passed, 50 million Americans were uninsured, many of which was by choice. Today that number has dropped to around 30 million, but the cost has been the wholesale destruction of health insurance plans to the rest of the country. Obamacare resulted in significantly higher premiums and deductibles for all; loss in the number of plans and doctors available under those plans; and lower coverage.”

Tallal believes that running businesses is not something the government is good at, citing Amtrak and the post office as examples. He believes that his proposal would bring healthcare back into the private sector, keeping disastrous government influence out of it, while at the same time providing necessary healthcare to low income Americans.

“The result would be an incalculable quantity of free medical service available to those in need with no tax dollars collected from you or me to pay for the services,” he stated. “Think about an abundance of controlled, targeted money designed to solve our most critical, social problems so that the government will not have to waste our money feebly attempting to accomplish the same thing.”

Tallal also believes that if his proposal were successful, it could easily be tweaked and applied to other areas of government influence in what should be private business, increasing efficiency.

“This concept could be used in any industry that receives payments for services from the government for services rendered,” he said. “It could also be used to raise money to solve a number of social problems, from providing housing for the homeless to contributing to AIDs research.”

Tallal regularly writes columns advising readers on matter of personal finance for WND.



Exclusive: Jody Tallal reveals best way to create true security

Most people who develop large estates do so through a system of investments. They learn how to do something very well (maybe it’s real estate, stocks or oil), and then they keep learning more and more about their investment area so they can consistently make more and lose less.

It becomes a kind of game. The more they do it, the more it works; the more it works, the more secure they feel; the more secure they feel, the more they do it.

Unfortunately, there is no security in this concept!

Investments should be a direct solution to an individual’s personal financial problems and goals. Because all investments put money at risk, there’s always a chance that you may lose some or all of your money. If there is no specific goal you’re trying to achieve, why put your money at risk?

While we have covered some of the proper strategies of personal financial management in previous columns, let’s assume that you have developed some specific goals. Say you want to retire at age 65 with the equivalent of what you can buy today for $4,000 a month. Let’s also assume you want to send your two children to college for four years each at a cost today of $16,000 per year.

In this example, you are trying to build a retirement and education fund. As we have previously discussed, there is an exact structure in which you can accomplish these desired goals; it is the science of navigation.

The bottom-line solution to achieving any long-term financial goal is that you will need to invest X amount of dollars at Y percent rate of return for Z number of years. This becomes the solution for achieving your specific investment goal. When you calculate this properly, it will yield a number of dollars you need to invest each year to reach your goals.

However, if you conducted a man-on-the-street interview and asked people why they make investments, they’d answer, “To make a profit.” In fact, most people in the investment business try to sell people on the need to always keep their money actively invested and growing.

“Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success “is an easy-to-read financial primer from a man who revolutionized the personal financial management industry. Jody Tallal’s latest book offers timeless lessons for financial success, no matter your occupation, salary or personal savings

While there is nothing wrong with this philosophy, investing in hopes of making a profit is like buying a rudderless boat. It might be perfectly seaworthy and it will not sink, but you cannot direct it to go anywhere you want it to.

If you fail to recognize the important “secret” of never investing without goals, you will be investing for investment sake. Why put your money at risk if you have nothing personally important left to gain in your life?

What I am saying is, why put your money at risk if you already have enough, allowing for inflation, to meet your true retirement goals and do not want to raise those goals; and if you have funded your children’s college educational goals; and if you have obtained any and all other financial goals, possibly including funding future generations’ retirements?

Think about it! Have you ever read a story of how someone who was worth $100 million or even $500 million and then went bankrupt and lost everything?

Did you wonder, “What didn’t they have that made it worth continue putting all that security at risk?”

The reality is, in those types of cases, they did have nothing to gain that they really wanted or needed. Consequently, they lost everything they had. They just got caught up in playing the game and lost sight of their real goals.

What they failed to see is that there are different processes a person must go through at different times and junctures in life.

For example, when you have nothing, the first step is setting goals. Your goals will each have a price tag, and you will need to start systematically investing to achieve those goals. This systematic investment process is similar to climbing a mountain to your goals.

However, no matter how tall the mountain you tackle, every mountain has a summit. When you reach it, you had better stop climbing or you will climb down the other side and end up back at the bottom!

What’s the best way to create true security? Once you reach your summit, stop climbing and erect a fort at the top. Claim the mountain as yours. Then you can throw your hands up in victory because you have truly won the game.

The process of building a fort in no way resembles mountain climbing. It is a very different function, but each has its own place in your long-term financial plan.

Remember: All forms of investment bear risk. You can always lose everything, no matter how much you have, as long as you stay in the game.

Never make an investment without having well-defined goals you plan to achieve.


Exclusive: Jody Tallal explains how to use site featuring millions of price comparisons

In my last column, I discussed how the Internet is a great tool for getting the Highest and Best Use of Your Money. However, one of the issues with shopping on the Internet is that you have to have the unique Web address (URL) for every store at which you want to shop. This normally means using search engines to locate those URLs, which also means looking through a lot more content than just store names. This takes extra time. Additionally, for every major name brand store, there are hundreds of others you have never heard of that often offer the exact same product for less in order to compete against the brand name store’s recognition. Finding those is much more difficult and takes more time.

Another issue is, how do you find all of the “loss leader” sale items available online from all of the retailers, like they appear in the Sunday newspaper? These appear on thousands of different websites as banner ads; and unfortunately, there is no such thing as the Sunday newspaper on the Internet you can look through to find all of the sales. The same is true trying to locate all of the promo codes.

What if there was a giant online shopping mall site like the Galleria or the Mall of America, that contained all of the best-known retailers on the Internet, all at one single URL, plus most of the good minor ones. Such a website would allow users to easily access each store’s site just like walking through a real mall and walking into their store.

Additionally, what if it also could aggregate all of the mall’s merchants’ loss leader sales items into one place so it was easy to scan all of them and see everything on sale at each store. It could even do the same thing with the mall’s stores’ promo codes.

What we are talking about is one website that would be the easiest place on the Internet to find everything you ever needed, from name brand stores to no name stores, all at the best possible prices. This indeed would be the best tool ever for people who wanted to get the highest and best use of their money.

The good news is such a site does exist at It contains over 3,000 major retailers in almost every category you can image. You would be hard-pressed to mention any store you can think of by name that is not available in this Internet mall.

This Internet shopping mall contains a mall directory like a real mall, composed of shopping categories (such as Apparel and Shoes, Computers, Electronics, Internet/Phone, Jewelry, Travel, etc.). Using the mall directory you can find all of the merchants in the mall that sell the type of merchandise you want with a single click or two of your mouse. There is also a sophisticated search engine to allow you to quickly find any store in the mall by its name.

However, one of the most powerful features of the mall is its product search engine that allows you to quickly search for the product you want and see which stores sell it. This product search engine searches through over 100 million products in the mall’s 3,000-plus stores’ inventories to find any product you want at the best price. This mean you never have to pay more than necessary for anything again.

“Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success” is an easy-to-read financial primer from a man who revolutionized the personal financial management industry. Jody Tallal’s latest book offers timeless lessons for financial success, no matter your occupation, salary or personal savings

The search results produced not only show products available in the mall that match that search term, but more importantly, a price comparison showing each merchant in the mall that sells the same product. This allows you to quickly find the cheapest price on whatever you want to buy.

What most people do not know is the vast difference in prices for which the exact same products sells from vendor to vendor. Sometime these price swings can be quite dramatic.

For example, below are the results of recent search done in the mall for “4k TV” to find Ultra HD TVs. In the example below, the exact TV is for sale at eight stores with a price range of a high $3,999 at two stores down to as low as $1,498. That is a $2,500 price differential on the exact same TV by simply knowing where to shop!

The hard facts are that all of these stores are in business and selling their products to people every day. That means there is someone buying this very same TV from one merchant for $3,999 while someone else is paying $1,498 for the exact same thing. Quickly being able to identify which merchant has what you want for the lowest price is an invaluable tool – and not spending $2,500 extra for the same TV is critical.


The mall also has two very important features called Hot Deals and Promo Codes. The Hot Deals section contains the aggregated content of all of the loss leader sales items of every merchant in the mall. This is like the Sunday newspaper ads on steroids.

If you like the idea of making your money go further, is an invaluable tool. It will help you quickly and easily learn to build the habit of thinking ahead before you buy to make sure you always get the highest and best use of your dollars. In my opinion, this is one of the best personal financial planning tools ever developed.


Getting the highest and best use of every dollar, Part 2

Exclusive: Jody Tallal reveals ‘wonderful invention’ that helps you get unbeatable deals

In last week’s column, we discussed the importance of the concept of “Getting the highest and best use of every dollar.” Today, we are going to discuss a new tool that became available just before the turn of the century that can assist you greatly in getting the highest and best use of your money. It is called the Internet.

If you were born more than 20 years ago, this wonderful invention was not yet available for this purpose. Therefore, always getting the highest and best use of your money before the Internet was much more difficult than today. Obviously, it was still possible with a lot of work, but because the Internet is the most advance research facility ever created, finding the best deal now is very simple if you learn how to use it.

Shortly after the acceptance of the Internet by the masses, every major and minor store created e-commerce sites to sell products and services online. Today, there is almost nothing you cannot buy over the Internet if you know how to find it.

Unfortunately, to use the Internet for this purpose requires some initial time to learn how to master researching what you want to buy and who has the best price available on it. Today there are sophisticated search engines like Google that will allow you to find the websites of the stores where you want to shop or to locate and compare the price of various products.

The Internet quickly leveled the playing field for all retailers, as the smallest companies instantly were able to compete on equal footing with the largest. This is because all that is required to sell on the Internet is a good quality website to display wares to potential customers.

Shortly thereafter, the retailers realized they were making a lot more money selling to customers online rather than through their traditional retail stores. This is because there are no retail-related expenses of operations (retail buildings, utilities, property taxes, employees, stocking, pilfering, etc.). All that is required to sell online is a website and a distribution facility. As a result, stores began looking for more ways to drive customers to shop on websites so they wouldn’t have to build so many brick-and-mortar stores.

“Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success”is an easy-to-read financial primer from a man who revolutionized the personal financial management industry. Jody Tallal’s latest book offers timeless lessons for financial success, no matter your occupation, salary or personal savings

The most obvious way to accomplish that was through price reductions. As a result, the same product can often be bought online (even after shipping costs) for less money than in retail stores. This is especially true with many retailers today selling the exact product cheaper in online stores than in the brick-and-mortar locations.

It didn’t take long before retailers began using the same types of marketing concepts online they were using in the offline world. One variation of this was the “lost leader ads,” which became what we now know as “banner ads.”

Banner ads are small ads that appear on other companies’ websites when those companies seek to monetize their sites. For example, a search engine, blogger or online newspaper, which already had a constant flow of visitors, might place a retailer’s banner ad alongside other content so readers interested in that deal could click on it and go directly to the store’s site offering it. If that person then bought something, the original site featuring the ad would receive a commission from the vendor on that sale. You’ll notice these banner ads on most of the websites you regularly visit.

Another method used by online retailers seeking to attract customers is what is known as “promo codes.” Unlike the lost-leader sales items offered through the banner ads, which are also available on the online store’s site, promo codes are special discounts only for customers who have the special code. Promo codes cannot be found anywhere on the retailer’s website. Since promo codes are not available directly on a merchant’s website, retailers often use them to sell excess inventory at lower prices.

Think of promo codes like coupons that you take into a store to get a special discount. If you are at a cash register and have the coupon, you pay less for the same product than a customer in front of you if he or she didn’t have a coupon.

The Internet is the best tool developed for getting the highest and best use of your money. However, learning to use it properly can be a bit complex. Finding the best deal takes time and research.

In next week’s column, I’ll share a website that makes it very easy to get the highest and best use of your money on anything you need to buy.


Getting the highest and best use of every dollar

Exclusive: Jody Tallal starts series on how to find that extra money for investing in future
Due to the length of this article, it is being split into three parts. Parts 2 and 3 will be the content of next two weeks’ columns.

Many people today are concerned about the rising costs of providing a college education for their children/grandchildren and what it would take to retire. This can result in real anxiety over what the future may bring.

You may even be saving a few hundred dollars here and there for the kids’ education, but that obviously will not be anywhere near enough bases on the escalating cost of college. You may also be contributing a small amount to your 401k, but again, for most folks, that is nowhere near enough either.
Additionally, even those that make respectable incomes spend just about everything they earn. So the real question is: How will you ever be able to earn enough extra money to be able to invest what you need to invest to meet your goals?

It will require a lot of new money invested each year to accomplish your financial goals. It will also take real commitment and focus to keep those goals vivid as you continue to make financial choices into the future.
However, there are strategies and processes that can make this all a lot easier. The purpose of this article series is to explore some of those with you. The first thing you need to learn is a concept called “Always getting the highest and best use of every dollar you spend.”

On the last day of your life, if we had sufficient records to review, we could look back and calculate every dollar that ever came into your possession. This amount would include everything you had ever received from your allowance as a child to every other source of income, gifts, or benefits during your life; and that final amount would be a fixed finite number. Therefore, we will call this finite number of all revenues received “Your Life’s Income.”

Additionally, on the last day of your life, if you had never spent a penny of Your Life’s Income, you would still have 100 percent of it left. Obviously, since that is not possible, every time you bought something along the way, you were literally removing real dollars from Your Life’s Income and replacing those with whatever you spent those dollars on.

Now, to make a point, if we also on this last day your life calculated the value of everything you had left, we could instantly see how well you had done in utilizing all the money that had ever come into your possession.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you become very aware of always getting the highest and best use of every dollar you spend, as this will determine what you have left in your estate of Your Life’s Income at your death.

“Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success” is an easy-to-read financial primer from a man who revolutionized the personal financial management industry. Jody Tallal’s latest book offers timeless lessons for financial success, no matter your occupation, salary or personal savings

Every time you buy something, that is an irreversible exchange of that money from Your Life’s Income for whatever you purchased. For example, if you go down to the local electronics store and buy a new TV for $1,299, that $1,299 is removed from Your Life’s Income and replaced with the TV. Unfortunately, in this example, the value of that TV in 10 years is almost nothing, so there would ultimately be nothing left from the original $1,299.

Now, what if you shopped around before making this purchase and found that exact same TV set on sale for $999? You would then have the same TV, but you would also have $300 dollars more left from Your Life’s Income, which you could use for something else – like possibly investing toward your children’s education. If you decided to buy the same version of this TV, but in last year’s model instead, you might get it for $799; so now you would have an extra $200.

Granted, this takes extra effort and time, but how long does it take you to earn $500?
What if you became focused on the importance of always getting the highest and the best use of your money on just about everything you bought – from using dining coupons when you go out to dinner, to using the grocery store’s gas rewards program when you fill up your car? Can you see how quickly new money would be found that you are currently let slip through your fingers?

Another great way to do this same thing is to look through the ads sections in your local Sunday newspaper. The ads you will find there are called “loss leader” sales items; this is one way stores compete against one another for your business.

For example, you might see a large office supply chain advertising a $40 box of copy paper for only $26.95 (about their cost). While they do not make any money on the paper, if you come in to buy it, they have won the branding war over their competition (which is huge for them); plus you will probably also buy other things while there at the store that are not on sale.

Every time you shop for the best deal, instead of just buying on impulse, the extra money you don’t spend is now available to use to acquire something else. Learning to develop a habit of always getting the highest and best use of your money is critical in helping you find the majority of the money you need to invest to meet you financial goals. If you are too proud to use a coupon, drive to a different gas station, or look for a sale, you are squandering a portion of Your Life’s Income.

In my next column, we will discuss a new tool that will make always getting the highest and best you of your
money even easier to do.

Investing: Do you know what questions to ask?

In my previous couple of columns, we have discussed that it is no wonder why so many people lose when they try to invest. The reason is that they naturally assume that because they are good at medicine, law, accounting, or running a business, or whatever, their expertise will automatically transfer to the investment area they are evaluating. To become an expert in any field of investment requires as much time and energy as it did for any of these types of people to become doctors, lawyers, accountants or business owners in the first place.

The casino in Las Vegas did not just pick a game of chance and make up the betting odds. It did enormous amounts of statistical research to identify its exposure so it could restructure the rules. Therefore, the main function of becoming a prudent investor is learning what questions to ask and what investment parameters you must have present in your investment structure to succeed.

I would like to illustrate this by looking at someone who wants to invest in investment-grade diamonds. Granted, this is not a traditional investment for many people, but it can easily demonstrate today’s point.

Let us say this person did his homework and learned about investing in investment-grade diamonds before starting out. He learned all about the four “C’s” of diamond investing (carat size, color, clarity and cut) and that only diamonds one carat and larger are considered true investment grade. He also learned that the diamond’s color must be between “D” and “H” to be considered investment grade; with the clarity ranging between flawless and no less than VVS2. Additionally, he learned that the G.I.A. Laboratories must have recently certified all stones. These basics are covered in most investment diamond books, so next the buyer goes to a diamond broker.

The problem with selecting a diamond broker as an adviser is that he is also a dealer selling his own inventory. Unfortunately, he has to buy all kinds of diamonds (good and bad) when he gets his inventory from DeBeers (the diamond cartel). Obviously, he does not throw away the bad ones and sell only the good ones.

One of the most interesting things about diamonds is they are not particularly pretty until they are cut. Nature controlled three of the four “C’s” (color, clarity, and carat size) 20 million years ago when the diamond was created. However, only the cutting process can release a diamond’s inner beauty. Additionally, strangely enough, the best cutting design, the one that makes the diamond the brightest and most colorful, wastes most of the diamond’s original rough material.

Because diamond cutters pay for the rough stone by weight and sell it as a finished cut stone (by weight), there is a natural tendency to leave as much of the rough in the finished stone as possible. However, the prettiest (most valuable) stones waste the most rough material. Therefore, the price has to be adjusted downward if the cutter tries to cheat and leave something on the stone that should have been cut away.

Now armed with your four “C’s” as parameters, you are sitting with your diamond broker. To play it safe, you firmly state, “I want to buy at least a G.I.A.-certified one carat, ‘D,’ flawless, well-cut diamond.” The diamond broker shows you a stone certified as a 1.00 carat, “D” (color), flawless (clarity) stone. It is exactly what you requested.

Let’s assume you are smart enough to know that most sophisticated diamond investors want to buy stones only at least three to five points over the one carat size (1.03-1.05) and will discount heavily for a 1.00 exact size. This is because in the event the stone were to get scratched it could be re-polished and not risk going below the crucial one carat weight parameter.

Therefore, you say, “No, this won’t do, I want at least a 1.03 carat or bigger!” The diamond dealer immediately shows you another stone. This new stone is a 1.03-carat diamond with the exact same qualities previously requested. However, the certificate reflects the diamond has a 75 percent table (the percentage of the top surface of the stone to its diameter). Again, let s assume you are knowledgeable enough to say, “No, this isn’t good enough, either. I want a table between 58-65 percent.” The reason is that if a diamond’s table is too broad, the stone will not disperse light properly and will be heavily discounted when you later attempt to sell it.

The diamond dealer says, “OK, you don’t want a 75 percent table. How about this beautiful stone?” This time the stone has everything right including a 62 percent table, except the certificate denotes the stone has a strong blue fluorescence, also a significant discounting factor.

This game will go on until you are satisfied with a stone and buy it. It will not be until you try to sell your stone for a profit that you will find out whether you asked enough of the right questions.
Profits are made on most investments when you buy them, not when you sell. If you bought the right thing at a good price, you will usually do all right. Additionally, remember never to rely on a broker who profits from what they sell you as an adviser.


Financial manager stresses importance of positive thinking


Have you achieved all your biggest goals in life? Well, have you visualized them? Have you written them down on a note card and imagined, every single day, that you have already achieved them?
If you can visualize your goals with the same sense of excitement you would feel if you actually achieved them, you will be well on your way to reaching those goals in reality, according to personal financial manager Jody Tallal.

“All of a sudden, those things are now being planted firmly into your subconscious mind, and it will start directing you subconsciously in your normal actions, and things will start changing and those things will start materializing,” Tallal said during a recent appearance on “Stand for Truth Radio” with Susan Knowles.

Visualization is just one of the many valuable tips Tallal imparts in his book “Billionaire Cab Driver: Timeless Lessons for Financial Success.” He told Knowles it’s crucial that people program their minds with positive thoughts.

“Most people don’t understand that they have a lot of control over what occurs in the future by what they’re thinking today,” he said.

Tallal explained that although the subconscious mind is physically much larger than the conscious mind, the latter has the ability to control what goes on in the former.
“Like a general in an army, the conscious mind is the general, and you can plant seeds in your subconscious mind consciously, and then the subconscious mind goes to work on making those things materialize,” he said. “And it’s kind of an interesting process, because if you lay your goals out properly as is described in the book, then all of a sudden you have those visualized, you have those very well understood, and if you kind of place them properly, the subconscious mind is going to go to work.”

Want to learn how to achieve all of your financial goals? You can do it – with help from “Billionaire Cab Driver,” available now in the WND Superstore.

Tallal pointed out every person is constantly having a conversation with him or herself in the back of his or her mind. He recommends people stop and listen in on that conversation every now and then – they will be amazed to realize that internal conversation has a huge influence on what they do. So if the internal conversation is full of doubts, fears and pessimism, it will stop people from achieving their goals.

“If you start examining these kinds of conversations you’re having with yourself, you’ll see that your future is kind of manifesting in exactly what you’re thinking about now,” he said. “So if you’re thinking, ‘I can’t do that; it’s never going to get better for me; I’m just in my plight in life, etc.,’ guess what? You are and will be. When you change that conversation, it will change with it. It has no option but to change. It won’t change tomorrow, but if you plant properly, your field, when it’s planted and watered, will produce.”

Visualizing goals and programming the mind are techniques that can help achieve objectives in almost any area of life, but Tallal’s specialty is personal finance. He has served as a personal financial manager to several wealthy professionals, and he developed a course to train medical professionals at Baylor Medical School, University of Tennessee Health Sciences and Tulane Medical School on how to manage their money.

His book, “Billionaire Cab Driver,” takes a topic that Tallal admits is “dry” and attempts to make it interesting and easy to understand by wrapping the advice in a parable. The book is written from the perspective of a fictional journalist who wins the right to spend a day with a cab driver who became worth over $20 billion. The billionaire cab driver shares his life story and the secrets of his financial success with the journalist.

Tallal told Knowles his book teaches people how to figure out the monthly price tag of any long-term financial goal, such as saving for college or retirement. He said people generally feel intimidated by the thought of saving for retirement, which is why it helps to break it into monthly payments, like a home mortgage.

He gave an example to illustrate how a daunting challenge can be made to seem manageable.
“If I wanted to have $750,000 in 30 years of retirement, that’s a pretty awesome thought, but how do I get there?” Tallal asked rhetorically. “Even if I know that I need that in 30 years and I know it’s $750,000, how do I get that? Well, for most of us, we just sit there and think about it, because we don’t know.

“But if we were to figure out – let’s assume I can make 10 percent on my investments, just as an assumption, in the stock market – I’m a long-term investor, I’m going for growth, that’s what my goal is – then in the process of 30 years, if I were to invest just $4,500 a year – that’s $400 a month – then that will be $750,000. Now a minute ago it was beyond reach, couldn’t think about it, couldn’t deal with it. Now it’s $400. That’s a car payment. I can now make a choice: Do I want a new car or do I want my retirement? That’s what it becomes.”

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Below is my latest column for WND

Exclusive: Jody Tallal explains how each venture category is ‘a science

In our last column we discussed that real knowledge is the key that makes wealthy investors wealthier and over the long run helps to keep transferring to them the assets of the average novice investor. I found this lesson very important as I entered the investment maze.

One of the biggest phenomena I have witnessed as a financial manager was the high propensity of people who earn high incomes for making bad investments. When I first started in practice a number of years ago, I decided to start researching my clients’ investment portfolios. The process involved separating the good investments from the bad.

The amazing thing was how few investments there were in the good stack. Almost no investment that I saw my clients had made, year after year, had worked out. It almost seemed that trying to find a good investment was like trying to net a rare, elusive butterfly. You take a swoop at it and when you check the net, it is empty.

It didn’t seem to matter whether my clients bought an oil-and-gas deal, real estate program, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cattle-breeding program, or macadamia orchards, they always came up losing. The more I researched, the more puzzled I became.

Finally, it dawned on me what was the problem. All my clients were very successful people. They worked very hard and were very good at what they did. That is why they earned enough money to need my services.

Once these people earned enough to live comfortably, they knew enough to make investments for their future. However, their investments usually went sour. They assumed that because they were very successful in their individual fields, they could simply transfer their knowledge to their investment analysis and enjoy similar success.

Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Each investment area requires significant knowledge to truly succeed. I like to think of each investment area as being a specific scientific field unto itself.

If you select any single investment area and approach it as a science, I believe there are no risks to take and only gain. For example, if you decided to invest in real estate, you would be competing with the likes of Trammel Crow Company, one of the largest real estate development firms in the world, and Ross Perot, one of the world’s richest men.

Prior to making your investment, you are going to attempt to evaluate site selections, architectural design, tenant mix, rent projection, financing options and demographics. Either you are going to do all of this yourself or read the prospectus of someone who has a project for sale and is presenting it to you for decision. It should be obvious that your chances of selecting a high-quality project that can make a profit are not the same as the Trammel Crow Company or Ross Perot’s. Why can you not do it as well?

The answer is you do not have the years of experience the Crow Company has and you cannot afford to hire the experts Mr. Perot can. Their advisors know many hidden questions to ask. Questions they have learned from their experiences that prevent them from making foolish mistakes.

Each investment area is like a minefield. It looks perfectly safe to enter and you do not know you have a problem until you step on a mine. Only after you have done so do you know what not to do next time. There are only two ways to successfully traverse a minefield. The first is to follow behind someone who has blazed the way and shows you the path you are on is safe. The second is to get down on your hands and knees and carefully take it an inch at a time.

In the investment world, this translates to learning from the prior experience of others or spending years of patient research and study to become an expert in that field yourself, prior to ever investing your first dollar. I believe each investment area is a science, which in its purest state of knowledge offers no risk, with total reward. If you had enough years and enough lifetimes, you might be able to figure out all the right questions to ask. The more right questions you know to ask the more risks you can eliminate.

The Law of Risk vs Return

Exclusive: Jody Tallal warns of ‘the irrational, invisible side of the investment world’

The more I have seen different areas of life, the more it becomes obvious to me that life operates as a science. The scientist’s job is to do research to learn the secrets his particular area of science holds.

I first noticed this in the area of investments. Each investment area is like a different field of science. Stocks, real estate, oil and gas exploration, land, commodities, each has its own distinct rules. As mentioned in my last column, when I first started in practice many years ago, I started observing several very wealthy people to try to determine if there were any common denominators in their methods of operation. One common denominator they all shared was their expertise that was responsible for their wealth. They all had become very good in their chosen fields.

Most investors readily accept the “Law of Risk vs. Return.” In almost all investment opportunity, risk and reward have a direct correlation. However, many investors do not recognize this as a one-way rule. High return usually does mean high risk, but high risk does not always mean a high opportunity for reward.

One fair definition of an investment is putting your money down on the table, releasing control of it for some period, during which you can either make more or lose some or all of that money. Investing, in reality, is a form of gambling.

Using this definition, the riskiest place you could invest your money is on a roulette table in Las Vegas. Las Vegas fits all the definitive aspects under our investment definition, except maybe for prudence. When you put $10,000 down on red on a roulette wheel, in 30 seconds you will have either $20,000 or zero.

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Let us use this absurd illustration to demonstrate a point. I would personally sell everything I own and then borrow as much money as my signature would carry and go with any person to Las Vegas. I would let that person pick any casino and have him select any game in the house for me to play (baccarat, craps, wheel of fortune, blackjack, etc.), because it would make no difference. I would even let him select the particular table on which he wanted me to play. I would do all this and place all the money I own on that table and begin to play – if I could do one simple thing first. What do you suppose I want to do?

I simply want to take four steps and walk from the side of the table designated for the players to the back of the table and play as the house.

Why can I risk all that I have and gamble with such assurance? Because in Las Vegas the house is not gambling. They do not wake up each morning and wonder how lucky they will be.

The casino has been able to remove its risks because it has scientifically analyzed each game backward and forward. It has dissected each component of the game to determine the odds of every potential occurrence. It knows every possibility of everything that can happen.

With this knowledge, it restructures the rules of the game and the betting odds to place all those odds in their favor. For example, it pays 10 to 1 if the hard eight hits on the crap table, but the odds of its occurring are only 32 to 1. In other words, for every $10 it pays out, it collects $32. The only gambler in Las Vegas is the player who accepts the poor odds and attempts to get in just in time and get back out before those odds stop him.

To me this is an ingenious concept!

Limit the risk through knowledge and research and then restructure the game and payoffs to produce only positive returns. This is exactly what the most successful investors do. They do not rely on their intelligence, or wit, or even their rational minds to make their investment decisions. They either gain the “knowledge” personally they need through personal experience and study, or they buy it from an expert.

Because of this, I have come to view the “Law of Risk vs. Return” to mean, “The novice investor takes the risk and usually loses his money, which at the same time allows the sophisticated, knowledgeable investor to reap his returns.”

Experience gives the 20/20 hindsight needed to see the irrational, invisible side of the investment world, or to put it another way, experience allows us to ask the irrational question invisible to the purely intellectual mind.