Wake UP Everybody!

Back in the late 70’s Harold Melvin and the Blue notes had a hit by this same title. The co-lead singer was yet to become a big star, his name Teddy Pendergrass. Here are some of those lyrics:

Wake up everybody, no more sleepin’ in bed
No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead
The world has changed so very much from what it used to be
So there is so much hatred war an’ poverty

Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
‘Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
When you teach the children, teach ’em the very best you can

So, how does this have any connection to financial victimization? Well, we are in the midst of a financial and economic epidemic which is financial victimization. Sadly the underlying disorder is completely ignored. The greatest financial victimization is being perpetrated by merchants, banks, and credit card companies. Scams, fraud and predatory sales tactics are responsible for $250B+ annually, yet that is pennies in comparison to the trillions being taken out of the pockets of Americans through debt manipulations. This is backed up and reinforced by a financial media which is basically funded by these organizations through advertising revenues.

Its a very effective cycle which begins with financial illiteracy and escalates into total financial victimization. Let’s look at some of this manipulation.

The vast majority of Americans have tied themselves to an anchor which assures they will NEVER reach financial independence. In fact they have unwittingly locked themselves into the death spiral that eliminates any opportunity for financial independence. ALL of this could easily be avoided and many, many more Americans could enjoy the benefits of financial independence.

It all begins with credit, whether that is mortgage, auto loan, student loans, or credit cards this debt carries interest. (Mortgage debt is over $8.5T, Auto loans $1.14T, Student Loans $1.45T and Credits cards $850B) The greatest tool banks, merchants and credit card carriers possess is INTEREST payments. This is commonly referred to as the magic of compound interest. Unfortunately for you this magic is being used to assure you will never reach financial independence, you will be a financial slave to the organizations who are reaping he benefits of compound interest. This is further escalated so that if you have any additional funds to invest you do so with the “mutual funds.” Those magical packaged investments that somehow will push you towards the heights of financial independence. Unfortunately once again this is a myth and the mutual funds earn more of your money through fees. The financial media and pundits once again manipulate you with the magic of mutual funds because they are directly funded and supported by the very mutual funds they are pushing. These same media pundits rail against brokers, financial advisors and insurance agents as the enemy when in reality these pundits are being paid by the mutual funds and investment institutions. So even if you have any left over money after all the excessive interest payments the mutual funds and investment packagers make sure they get the remains.

You are being financially victimized every day. You are losing $100’s of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. This is the very money that would propel you into the arena of financial independence, you have the financial wherewithal in your hands right now! All you need to do is make some very simple changes and learn to trust yourself instead of the pundits and financial media.

The Advocacy Network provides all the financial literacy education as well as the financial solutions that will propel you into financial independence. Our mission is not only to eliminate all forms of financial victimization but also to help our members reach financial independence. we know that people who are financially independent never become victimized. They have no exposure to financial victimization because they are financially independent. Wake up everybody and join us! The results will be financial independence for YOU and YOUR family members. Wouldn’t you like to save $100’s of thousands of dollars for your own financial well being? How about doing that while also sticking it to the banks, merchants and credit card companies? That’s a win/win right there. Take back control of your financial life style and life experience. It is easily accomplished, it just needs your willingness and support.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!

Secret To Financial Independence: Discipline!

Much has been written and said about the concept of financial independence. There are media pundits who are earning millions of dollars spewing excessively poor financial information, add to this many financial institutions who earn billions by promulgating financial myths which keep the middle class indebted for their lifetimes. This needs to be exposed and the public needs to understand how to reach true financial independence.

Incredibly when you make the effort to rummage through the avalanche of white noise along with the intentional communication of mis-information you can attain the necessary awareness of how to become financially independent. Proper information along with personal discipline can make ANYONE financially independent. While getting proper information is certainly a challenge, the real difference between those who are financially independent and those who are not is PERSONAL DISCIPLINE.

Financial victimization continues to be the most prevalent financial risk due to both a lack of proper information along with a distinct lack of personal discipline. This combination exposes one to the ravages of financial victimization.

Let’s do some brief revisionist history. Prior to the stock market collapse in 1927 people held mortgages on their homes, yet unlike today’s mortgages these notes were immediate recourse notes, thus they could be called by the bank at any time. When the market collapsed the major problem was the leverage we today know as margin accounts. Unlike today people were able to have massive leverage in the 1920’s which helped promote great prosperity, it was the “roaring” 20’s. So when the margin calls started investors needed to flood the banks to pay their calls and the banks needed the cash to pay their depositors and thus called in the mortgages to get the cash from the depositors, can you see where this is going? Thus the result was a decade or so of depression. It was purely a velocity of money issue.

If we fast forward today, we find a mortgage market which almost imploded and caused the same type of event but there were certain checks and balances put in place to hopefully stopped any similar event from happening. One of those changes included the 30 yr mortgage with no recourse except for default. Not only banks are able to play in this market however and thus there exists a network of “mortgage banking” operations to play this game. In the end the victim of this game is you the mortgagee. You unfortunately don’t know what you don’t know. The pain of unawareness costs you and your family 100’s of thousands of dollars or a working lifetime.

The factor that separates the wealthy from the financially dependent is the use of leverage, credit and the massive tool of compound interest. Sadly the misunderstanding or total lack of awareness about compound interest is the #1 reason for financial failure. When you understand fully the magic of compound interest and use it for your benefit you have no choice but to become financially independent. You are either paying banks and creditors interest or you are paying yourself. When you are paying the interest over the full course of the time contracted for you are losing the use of that money and the growth of that money. Besides paying 2-3x more for whatever you are financing you are also losing the future value of the money which in most cases is a lifetime of earnings. Most people work for money and never gain the next level of money working for money. its this level that creates financial independence.

Financial literacy will provide you the proper information and personal discipline will take you to the next level. That personal discipline doesn’t immediately require you to make sacrifices, it does require that you redistribute your present income in ways that will save interest and allow you to put those savings into interest growth for yourself. We have the answers which don’t require you increasing your present spending but simply directs how you distribute your present funds. Let’s discuss how to help you avoid financial victimization, gain financial literacy and become financially independent.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!

The Causes and Consequences of Financial Fraud Victimization Among Older Americans

The start of a study into the causes and damages of financial victimization. It basically reinforces the WHY for the Advocacy Network.

by Keith Jacks Gamble, DePaul University

Financial fraud is a major threat to the retirement security of senior citizens, and its prevalence is growing.  Despite this problem, few studies have examined the factors that make an older person susceptible to financial fraud.  The impact of being a victim of financial fraud on future decision making is also under-examined.  The proposed research will address these gaps in knowledge about the causes and consequences of financial fraud victimization among older Americans.

Perhaps the most significant barrier to research in this area is getting the data required for a systematic study.  Victims may never report the crime to the authorities, and known victims may not want to share their experience.  The PI has found a unique opportunity to study financial fraud through Rush University Medical Center’s Memory and Aging Project (MAP), an ongoing longitudinal study of aging.  Since its beginning in 1997, MAP has enrolled participants age 60 and older from throughout the Chicago metropolitan area in its study.  Participants undergo yearly interviews and clinical evaluations.  Since 2010, MAP has administered a survey of financial decision making, which includes questions addressing financial fraud victimization. Currently, MAP has 664 participants who have completed at least one decision-making survey; 62 participants report being recently victimized by financial fraud.  The MAP decision-making survey has generated a large dataset from victims and non-victims of fraud.  The PI will use the MAP dataset to test hypotheses about what makes a person susceptible to financial fraud and what impact fraud victimization has on one’s future financial decision making.  The dataset includes the required demographic variables to control for confounding factors, including age, sex, and educational attainment.

It is truly incredulous as to the wide unawareness that exists in the topic of financial victimization. It grows more damaging by the day and there is very little if any true proactive protection for the public. Of course there are numerous agencies, bureaucracies, and institutions that have really good intentions. Unfortunately we all know where the road paved with good intentions ends up. The Advocacy Network is created and focused on providing true and real proactive protection from ALL forms of Financial Victimization which includes scams, fraud and predatory sales tactics. we are an effective, affordable and consistent protector. we have saved members in excess of $6.5M to date.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!

Self Directed IRA’s

A growing amount of fraud is being perpetrated on unsuspecting retirees through self-directed IRA’s. Today I am sharing some material from an article written by L. Christopher Knight, CFE, CPA. In it you will get some valuable information concerning the dangers and how to avoid the risk involved in self-directed IRA’s.

SDIRA FRAUD RISK AND PREVENTION

According to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), as of Dec. 31, 2013, approximately US$23 trillion was invested in retirement savings, which represented 34 percent of U.S. household financial assets. (See Retirement Assets Total $23.0 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2013.)

The large amount of money held in retirement accounts might make them more susceptible to fraudsters. Also, as investors become more savvy they might be enticed to identify other alternative types of investments outside the traditional types of investments (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds). A potential growing trend for SDIRA investments and opportunity for fraudsters might exist in the crowd-funding phenomenon. Below are five helpful tips to prevent and avoid SDIRA fraud from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I’ve added tip No. 5. (See the SEC Investor Alert, Self-Directed IRAs and the Risk of Fraud.)
1.Verify information in SDIRA account statements. Because LLC managers report investment values to custodians, it’s important that investors take extra care to understand the underlying investments. For example, if investors are directing their investments into real estate they should verify the existence of the real estate. Investment promoters should be willing to provide sound evidence of how the investments were valued.
2.Perform some due diligence. Verify that the person offering the investment is licensed. This may provide some security because any credible investment advisor typically has to go through a series of regulatory steps to become licensed. Also, obtain references of the person offering the investment.
3.Ask questions. This is probably the most important step you can perform when investing in any product. If you don’t understand the investment or process well enough so you can explain it to others, then it probably isn’t something you should be investing in.
4.Be mindful of guaranteed returns. If it is too good to be true then it probably is. It’s a cliché, but do I need to say more? Rarely do any investments have guaranteed returns. Just remember this simple saying: The higher the risk, the higher the reward. And the lower the risk the lower the reward.
5.Seek counsel. Seek the advice of friends who aren’t professional attorneys or CPAs. You might be surprised at how intuitive they can be in gauging your investment opportunity.

RETIRING BABY BOOMERS AND AMBITIOUS MILLENNIALS

In the next decade, fraud risks associated with SDIRAs will grow with the large number of baby boomers entering retirement age and the huge pool of assets available to fraudsters. Also, younger generations may seek investment opportunities outside of the traditional stock markets, such as technology and start-up ventures. As anti-fraud professionals, we need to be aware of new and sophisticated ways investors may be defrauded.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!

Children at Risk!

Here is some info from an article in the Fraud magazine from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. There is a growing identity theft proliferation of children. And the most surprising issue is how the scammers and fraudsters are gaining access to your children. They are using the most insidious psychological triggers possible, that of the safety and protection of your child. The ID packages that parents use to protect their children are now tools fro scams to steal the identities of the children. Imagine that? Weel, here are parts of the article for your review: The author is By Robert E. Holtfreter, Ph.D., CFE, CBA, CICA,

Thieves targeting the most innocent victims

Child identity theft is the unauthorized use of children’s personally identifiable information (PII) including names, addresses and, most importantly, SSNs, to commit fraud. (See To snare a menace: ‘Synthetic identity’ fraudster stole millions, by Anthony P. Valenti, CFE, CAMS; Stephen G. Korinko, CFE, CAMS, CPP, Fraud Magazine, November/December 2016. — ed.)

Parents seldom systematically review their children’s credit reports. They might only look at them when their children attempt to obtain student loans, credit cards or jobs.

How serious is the problem? In an analysis of identity protection scams of more than 40,000 children from 2009 to 2010, Richard Power, Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon Club, summarized the key findings of his research in his 2011 report Child Identity Theft:

  • “4,311 or 10.2 percent of the children in the report had someone else using their Social Security number — 51 times higher than the 0.2 percent rate for adults in the same population.
  • “Child IDs were used to purchase homes and automobiles, open credit card accounts, secure employment and obtain driver’s licenses.
  • “The largest fraud ($725,000) was committed against a 16-year-old girl.
  • “The youngest victim was five months old; 303 victims were under the age of five.”

Part of the seriousness of the problem can be traced to more parents creating child identification kits that law enforcement agencies use to identify lost, abducted or runaway children. The kits allow parents to document distinguishing characteristics of their children, including physical description, possible biometric information such as palm prints and fingerprints, dental or medical records, DNA samples and SSNs.

The kits are great tools, but fraudsters can steal them and use the private PII for fraudulent purposes. And parents should be extremely careful when choosing organizations that offer kits.

Stealing the identity of a five month old is basically an incredible threshold to have passed. Meanwhile the normal reactionary bureaucracies, agencies and organizations have done nothing substantial in this oncoming epidemic. In order to fully protect YOU and YOUR children will be completing full due diligence on all organizations that sell identity packages for families and their children. Kindly use us as a resource before releasing the vital information of your children.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!