Precious Metals

There are plenty of advertisements these days about owning precious metals.  You may recall that here in the US, television ads first appeared offering you cash for gold.  People in the ads were selling their old jewelry and sending those items in for a cash return.  Next the ads began talking about buying and holding gold (coins, bullion, etc) based on the amount that the “value” of gold increased over the past 10 years for example.  As the price of gold increased I remember discussing with my wife that we would begin to see silver being added to the commercials because while some may not be able to purchase ounces of gold at a price above $1600/ounce, silver would be more attractive as it sells closer to $30/ounce.  Of course you see both advertised today.

I have used an online company for about seven years now and have found buying, selling and holding precious metals to be easy, flexible, and to fit with my comfort level.

If you are inclined to purchase precious metals, I thought you might find as a viable option for you.  Once you’ve opened an account you can buy precious metals, hold them in a vault, sell them or portions of them for cash in your account in US dollars or other currencies, or transfer the cash into your other accounts to pay bills.

Here’s a look at and I hope you find it helpful for your own research of precious metal purchases. To learn more or open an account click on the “How to Purchase Gold and Silver” link below the video.

How To Purchase Gold and Silver

Get Educated

“Persons, especially salaried people who schedule their spare time, to provide for home study, seldom remain at the bottom very long.  Their action opens the way for the upward climb, removes many obstacles from their path, and gains the friendly interest of those who have the power to put them in the way of opportunity.”

–Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

With all the news I read and hear these days concerning the economy, the future of food prices, the viability of the US dollar remaining as the global currency, or what the President or Congress promise they’ll do that will fix everything, it’s more important than ever that I learn enough about these issues, especially what they mean for my family, so my family can be best prepared for what lies ahead.  It’s time for me to actively learn so I can separate the real from others’ self-interest.  This takes time, but it’s time that I control and I can prioritize what I do with it.

Of course, I could sit in front of the TV and have the news broadcasters tell me “what’s important to know.”  That is certainly easy, but may only be information some producer wants me to understand about the situation.  I can’t account for what I’m not told or shown concerning the issue.  In addition, it can be a pretty passive way of learning, in fact it isn’t learning at all, it’s simply being on the receiving end of the information presented.  From that I can decide if I need to take action to learn more.  If so I arm myself with a goal to learn about the issues to which I feel  most vulnerable.

For example, when you hear about the declining dollar and you want to know what you can do about it regarding your family’s finances, you may need to brush up on alternative ways to protect or otherwise use your money.   Make a plan to read from different sources,  so you don’t act as if you got a good stock tip and go off taking action without learning about the ins and outs of applying the new knowledge.

Again, if you’re concerned whether the economy will cause further layoffs at your place of work, arm yourself with a goal to learn a new marketable task or allow yourself to consider other income alternatives that may be part-time work or work from home ideas.  Make a plan to get the necessary education and proceed.

In doing this you may turn crisis into opportunity.  Do a Google search to get a sense of the information out there on the topic, talk to informed people, and investigate.  There are some resources on this site that I’m affiliated with that you could check out.  As an education source, I’ve found the folks at give me “the rest of the story” when it comes to news on the US dollar, Gold and Silver, and what impacts the dollar.

Wherever you go to seek answers and solutions, make the plan, set the priorities, and take action.


Encouraging Financial Health

You’ve been paying a little better than the minimum required towards your credit card balance, on a good month, and it just doesn’t seem to be doing any good.  How do you stay focused on your goal when it seems to take so long to achieve?  Ever have the feeling that either “nothing is happening” or “I don’t think I’ll ever get there.”  How about, “it’s not working.”  You’re trying to pay down some credit balance to zero.  The balance on the credit card represents purchases that you no longer remember were even made on it.    The balance due that you read off the monthly statement is still depressing and is not encouraging.  You need something that can encourage you or highlight your progress so you can see the progress you have made.

I came across an article that provides good tips and downloadable links for MS Excel templates to help you see and track your progress.  I liked the information in the article for it’s simplicity; something that doesn’t take a lot of time, doesn’t require me to be an MS Excel expert, and provides me a wealth, no pun intended, of information.   If you track these items, you’ll have a running picture or “movie” of your financial status.  It’s hard to understand where you’re going if you’re not sure where you are.  These simple resources, the income statement and the balance sheet, are a picture of where you are.  Each month you can enter the most current information and then compare your progress.  If instead you simply look at each statement or bill as they come in,  you are seeing each of them as only a single frame of a single scene of your financial “movie.”  Many of you may be applying  debt reduction processes like, paying more than the minimum required each month, no longer using the credit card, living below your means, or applying the largest payment to the credit card with the lowest balance until paid off then moving to the next card, etc.  While those actions you’ve been taking may be painful, it can also be discouraging if you’re not “seeing” the results.

The balance sheet can show you at a point in time how the balance has changed month to month.  When I receive a credit card statement for example, I know that  I can only see two balances, the previous month’s starting balance and the new balance on that one card.  If the new balance is lower I can smile, but I won’t necessarily be encouraged.  I need to be able to follow the effects of my debt reduction processes from the time I began them.  For example, if my new balance this month is $100 lower than last month, that’s nice.  But if over the time I’ve been using these processes, the balance has fallen $1000, that’s encouraging and I’m happy to continue the belt-tightening which hasn’t been all that much fun, right?  The income statement will show you for the month where your income is going.  With this information, you can determine if you have been living within your means, how you are using your income and compare it each month.  The adjustments you’ve been making to how you apply your income to expenses will be visible here.  You will have a better picture of your cash flow situation which leads to better spending choices and more possibilities towards reaching your debt reduction goals. Furthermore, the information on the balance sheet and income statement are needed when you fill out loan applications, financial aid applications for children’s college, etc.  So instead of having to track the information down at those times, you simply need to visit your balance sheet and income statement that you’ve been using regularly.

Read the article, download the templates, and take the few minutes it takes to setup and update each month.  You will reap encouragement and success.

Make It So

Ok.  It’s December; old, non-functioning seasonal decorations have been replaced, new ones have been added, and gifts have been purchased.  You may have already found yourself thinking “next year, I’m going to be putting a little money aside every week as a gift fund so we aren’t so strapped for cash next December.” Don’t beat yourself up about this, but use it as energy to act.

Use that feeling to commit to forming a plan for yourself and family, but not just about the holidays.  Make this plan a two to three year plan, so it’s not about resolutions but a deeper path you want to forge for yourself.

Visualize:  Pick a date, lets say three years out from today, or some date close to that far out (not further) that has meaning for you and project yourself in your mind forward to that time.  Describe for yourself, write your responses down on paper:

  • Where you are living? House? Location? With whom? Do you own it?
  • What will a typical day entail for you?  Are you working? For yourself? someone else?
  • What pays your bills?  Business? Employment? Investments? Lottery? (just seeing if you’re still with me.)  What is the nature of that work?  How much do you work? From where do you work? Office? Home? Travel?
  • What do you do for inspiration and fun?  Travel? Charity work? Spend time with good friends? How often?
  • With whom will you associate?  Is there someone you’ve wanted to work side by side with because you’ve admired their accomplishments?  Will you be working side by side with them?

Once you have the future state pictured in your mind and written down so you can review it, you can then consider what happened along the way to get you there.  Pretend you are at that future date and being interviewed about how you got here.   Answer and write down as appropriate for you:

  • I learned…
  • I raised the money I needed by…
  • I started spending more time with people doing…
  • I started reading from ….
  • I got serious about my future and enlisted the help of …
  • I helped…
  • I prepared for obstacles by…
  • I …

Put beginning dates on when you started doing the things that got you there, schedule it and work it.

This process does a number of things beyond simple goal setting:

  • It sets your mind up to be more attuned for those events, people, opportunities, etc that can aid your progress.  Therefore, you’ll recognize it when you see it.  This is akin to buying a car and then all of a sudden you begin to see “your car” everywhere on the road.
  •  It gives you lead-time so you can  prepare and be ready for each stage.
  •  It can help you quickly determine spending priorities; e.g., will purchasing this item further me on my goal or is it a bit of hype or a distraction?
  • It can help you stay on track with appropriate associations and time expenditures.

Lastly, although there are many “I”s in the pretend interview section above, that doesn’t mean the path to your goal is a solitary endeavor.  Enlist the help of appropriate others always.  The “I”s point to the key link in this journey…only “I” can choose begin to act or not.

Author:  Paul LaPointe is host and frequent contributor for

Incentive Code


Robert Kiyosaki and Glenn Beck discuss four types of people in this video.  Robert is describing his Cashflow Quadrant available at 

Check it out and expand your way of looking at finances and financial intelligence.  The discussion is certainly apropos for our times and events in the media today.  It’s good to put ideas like this against those from other sources.  It helps expand our view of things and gives us a better perspective from which to make decisions regarding our economy, personal finances, and perhaps how we listen to news from all sources in the future.  Cashflow Quadrant is a very good book and an easy, down-to-earth read and provides more detail on each quadrant.  It was first published in 1998 I believe, so it’s been around and been a best seller.   It helps you see who pays the most in taxes based on the tax code.


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