Book Summary: Bank on Yourself – The Life – By Pamela Yellen

You need to go where the money is – the bank. Bank on yourself describes a strong financial method to having money flow into your economy instead of out of your economy. These principles are very sound and work.

A special note – Pamela is an excellent marketer. She has done a great job of creating a valuable system with the tutelage of Dan Kennedy, she monetized it well. This is a complement because through her marketing, she is liberating people from our traditional banking system which is leveraged to the hilt.

Why is this important to me?

I always want to ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. Will this summary benefit you if you review it? People today do not have robust savings. The savings rate in the U.S. is the lowest it has ever been. The financial community has been pitching 401K plans, 529 Education plans and other retirement vehicles. The problems with these instruments are numerous. People who wanted to retire in 2008 couldn’t because of the financial meltdown.

Traditional banks utilize fractional reserve lending and with the debt crisis at historic levels, there is risk with the largest banks. Stocks have been a roller coaster ride and the insiders have done well, the little guy – not so much.

Bank on Yourself is full of testimonials of people who have utilized the system. What I am going to profile are some of the high level, long term strengths of this system.

1. Insurance – The vehicle to creating your own banking system is Whole Life Insurance. I know that Dave Ramsey and Suzie Orman pooh-pooh insurance all day but the fact remains that this is the safest vehicle out there for investing and with discipline can be the best. Insurance is guaranteed tax free growth and has been around for 200 years. These policies are 100 years older than the IRS. Using this vehicle to create a banking system would have eliminated all the bust cycles that have plagued the economy in the last 25 years.

2. Taxes & Liability – Any financial plan has to be full cycle meaning that if you get sued, you will not lose your fortune. This is the case with insurance in most states. If you are a doctor and get sued, they can NOT touch your life insurance banking system. Taxes yield another huge advantage to this system. You can take a loan from your policies to buy a rental property and at an interest rate and write the interest off just like a typical mortgage. The strongest concept is that you are paying yourself back. The volume of interest goes to you and not the bank. Just like any business, it takes time to build up these reserves.

3. Habit – The key concept to remember is that if you finance purchases then you pay interest. If you pay cash for your purchases then you give up the interest. If you pay yourself the interest with your own banking system then you can achieve compound results. It is said that.34 cents of every dollar goes to interest expense. The critical point here is to understand that the “volume of interest” is what is important. In a conventional mortgage, the first 10 years of payments almost all go towards interest. That is the secret money maker for regular mortgage banks. The habit with this system is that you have to pay yourself back just like any creditor. The only reason this system will fail is if you steal from yourself. I cannot stress this enough, you have to pay yourself back.

I have touched briefly on this subject but I suggest strongly that you study it and implement it. You can check out other resources on the site for more information.

I want to give you a personal example of the power of this system. I have been using it since 1999 and each year my policies have grown and the money has allowed me to buy other businesses. (My insurance banking system has not been affected by the Tech bust of 2000 or the financial meltdown of 2008. They have grown every year because it is guaranteed growth.) This strategy has allowed me to capitalize my own business without traditional banking loans. This is a big deal and the key to Economic Value add. Banking on Yourself is a long term strategy. If you are looking for a quick investment fix then this is not the tool for it.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is cash is always flowing. The real question is where. The goal is to have it flow to you.

Beyond The Hole In The Wall: A Book That May Change Everything You Believe About Education

This story begins at the turn of the millennium with the well-known Indian educator Sugata Mitra literally used a pickaxe and shovel to create a hole in a wall separating his office from an area of neighboring slums in New Delhi, installing a networked PC in the gap thus created, facing the computer screen and keyboard toward the exterior alley, and then covering it all up with protective plastic material so that it could function rain or shine.

Then he left it there for the local children to discover and freely explore on their own, unsupervised. Using various technologies along with simple observation from his office, Mitra kept detailed chronicles of the interaction of the children with the computer and the Internet. Where did he get such an idea? I still do not know. But it was a brilliant experiment.

What these children learned from Mitra’s “hole in the wall” experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction or supervision, quickly learn how a PC works — and much, much more. The children also freely collaborated with each other, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. It was the dawning of Mitra’s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research.

Sugata Mitra has written an inspiring though brief non-fiction book with Amazon’s Kindle Single program called Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning with an introduction by Nicholas Negroponte, the chairman emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and the founder of the One Laptop Per Child association.

It is an important update on Mitra’s groundbreaking work (which many will not realize provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire). What I took away from my one-night’s reading of this work (it reads like a wonderfully written Atlantic Monthly or Harper’s piece of several decades ago) was that self-directed learning, meaning learning that occurs without a teacher present, can make kids smarter and more creative in environments that would seem, at first sight, to be utterly not conducive to any kind of learning at all. The fact is that human beings often learn under very difficult conditions. We must, or we don’t survive.

Sugata Mitra is a physicist, cognitive researcher, a gifted teacher and certainly one of the most intelligent and original thinkers the education establishment has produced in the last half century. He is now teaching at the University of Newcastle. At the time of the “hole in the wall” experiment, he was head of NIIT, one of the five biggest e-training institutes in the world.

The expropriate and internalization of the PC and the Internet by thousands of illiterate children, all without any direction or supervision from adults, delivered a body blow to long-held beliefs about what children can and cannot do on their own, along with unanticipated evidence about the high intelligence and capacity of illiterate children to acquire substantial computer skills and other knowledge without the help of teachers.

The experiment became a sensation. The World Bank president and other dignitaries personally made pilgrimages to Delhi to see it. Media hype started to build up. Soon the experiment was replicated in scores of other urban public spaces and villages around India and in a number of other countries like South Africa. They all delivered the same message: children have an uncanny ability and drive to learn to use the computer for learning, with or without the help of teachers.

This kind of learning has since been dubbed by Mitra as Minimally Invasive Education. The immense disparities existing in India’s school system and the magnitude of the challenge of educating the millions of India’s children takes on a less intimidating aspect in light of these new researches.

I highly recommend this long article (I don’t think it’s really a book) to anyone who has the slightest interest in how human beings learn. It was thrilling to see how much cooperation, sharing, discussion, and indeed courage arises spontaneously in places where we least expect it. This could well be one of the most significant books about education to appear in the last two or three generations. It is also a delightfully fun story to spend a night with.

Teaching Online – Home Schooling Book Review

If you are considering teaching online, or if you are a homeschooling parent and would like to have your kids learn online while at home then maybe you need to do a little bit of research. Maybe you need to consider what’s out there, and the various hybrid courses and technology issues which surround the world of Internet courses and online teaching.

The other day, there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed why there never needed to be any poor weather days that prevented school. If the inclement weather was so bad that the school buses couldn’t run, or the blizzard made it impossible to get to school, then each student could learn at home on their own computer. The article made some compelling arguments, and I found similar points of contention in a book on the subject.

In fact, I’d like to go out of my way right now to recommend this book to you, and it is a book that I do own of my personal library. The name of this book is; “Teaching Online – A Practical Guide” (College Teaching Series – Second Edition) by Susan Ho and Steve Rossen, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, (2004), 339 pages, ISBN: 0-618-29848-7.

There is a great overview of online teaching and what it’s about, and although it is written from the perspective of the institutional educator, it surely helps parents understand what they are dealing with when they choose which courses, online syllabuses, and information they wish their children to read and learn. Teaching in an online classroom is not easy, but those that have the skill and talent to pull it off, are the most desired and sought after instructors.

Why not pick up a copy of this book so you can familiarize yourself with low-tech and high-tech solutions used in Internet education. You can also find discussion forums where you can interact with teachers, and how they use whiteboards, chatting features, and instant messaging to make the online classroom feel at home. Why not learn what the teachers go through when they put together their training programs, and how they prepare themselves for their students.

It seems to me as a parent I want to know how the online teaching system works, what type of software and hardware works the best, and how the teachers are going to interact with my kids. You need to know these things up front, it’s very important, and that’s why a recommend this book to you. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.