Holistic Survival
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A Ronald Reagan Christmas

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HS - Jason Hartman Income Property Investing (1)Jason Hartman welcomes Ronald Reagan to the show to share a moving Christmas story. Next, some mortgage financial planning illustrated by “A Tale of Two Brothers” by Ric Edelman who has educated his clients for years on the benefits of integrating their mortgage into their overall financial plan.In his book, The New Rules of Money, Ric tells the story of two brothers, each of whom secures a mortgage to buy a $200,000 home. More at: http://holisticsurvival.com/category/audio-podcast/. Each brother earns $70,000 a year and has $40,000 in savings. The first brother, Brother A, believes than half the nation’s banks failed and millions of homeowners, unable to raise the cash they needed to payoff their loans, lost their homes. Out of this the American Mantra was born: Always own your home outright. Never carry a mortgage. The reasoning behind America’s new mantra was really quite simple: if the economy fell to pieces, at least you still had your home and the bank couldn’t take it away from you. Maybe you couldn’t put food on the table or pay your bills, but your home was secure. Since the Great Depression laws have been introduced that make it illegal for banks to call your loan due. The bank can no longer call you up and say, We’re running a little short on cash and need you to pay off your loan in the next thirty days.Additionally, the Fed is now quick to infuse money into the system if there is a run on the banks, as we saw in 1987 and Y2K. Also, the FDIC was created to insure banks. Still, it’s no wonder the fear of losing their home became instilled in the hearts and minds of the American people, and they quickly grew to fear their mortgage. In the 1950′s and 60′s families would throw mortgage burning parties to celebrate paying off their home. And so, because of this fear of their mortgage, for nearly 75 years most people have overlooked the opportunities their mortgage provides to build financial security.

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Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to teach independently, to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host Jason Hartman!

Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman and this is episode number 41 where we talk about the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. So, first of all, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday, a very merry Christmas, and say that we’ve got some great stuff coming up in 2011. I hope you’re looking forward to a great year, all things considered.

And I wanted to do this show specifically today because we also ran this on my Creating Wealth show. And every survival expert I hear basically thinks that the financial world comes down to two things, buy gold and get out of debt. And, you know what, I think they’re largely wrong. Now I think that buying gold is okay. I think it’s better than holding soon to be worthless fiat dollars. I think buying silver’s okay too. I think it’s a defensive strategy though. I don’t think it’s an offensive strategy. I think the offensive strategy is package commodities investing with long term fixed rate investment grade debt. And after we hear from one of our former presidents today who we are having a little Christmas wish on the show that I think is very fitting and kind of a good message for the holidays here, we’re gonna talk about mortgage management which is one of the best holistic survival techniques I think are available out there to you. So this is a great technique and we’re gonna get into it here in just a moment.

I hope you enjoyed the last show with Dr. Denis Waitley, number 40. And every 10th show we’re gonna kind of stray off the survival topic a bit where we talk a little bit more generally about general life success, but it always relates back to Holistic Survival in some way because we’ll talk about being more effective and resilient and all of those important things and taking care of a good mindset to make sure we’re successful out there. So let’s get into this topic here. First, a little Christmas wish and then let’s talk about mortgage management and how it relates to holistic survival. So we’ll be back with that in just a moment.

Narrator: Now’s your opportunity to get the Financial Freedom Report. The Financial Freedom Report provides financial self-defense in uncertain times and it’s your source for innovative forward thinking investment property strategies and advice. Get your newsletter subscription today. You get a digital download and even more. The price, only $197. Go to JasonHartman.com to get yours today.

Jason Hartman: First of all, I want to start off by wishing everybody a very happy holiday season, a very merry Christmas. And I hope you’re looking forward to a great 2011, all things considered, given this economy and the mess that Goldman Sachs and the powers that be put us in, the banksters – the bank robbers basically is what they are – and the whole thing that’s going on with the financial crisis and the economy. You know, it is creating a lot of great opportunities for our investors.

And I see it almost every day where one of our clients just picks up a phenomenal property well below the cost of replacement, well below the cost of construction. They get free land in the deal. I’ve been doing it myself this year and, I tell you, it’s like the Chinese have the symbol for crisis which is the same as the symbol for opportunity – and it means crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind. And the crisis only creates an opportunity for those who act, for those who actually do something about it. Those who sit by and are spectators as if life is some kind of spectator sport, well, they miss out, and the opportunity is really nothing more than just a tragedy for them. So it requires action. It requires us all to have the nerve, the chutzpah, the guts to take action in the face of bad news out there, in the face of what’s going on in the media, in the face of understanding that the housing market or the real estate market, as the talking heads on TV say, is not one single national entity, understanding that all real estate is local, understanding the value of having a diversified portfolio in markets that make sense. When you have 400 distinct markets as large and diverse as The United States of America, you have rampant opportunities.

Again, like we’ve talked about on prior shows, if you look at the Case-Shiller index of 20 markets that are profiles and, in my opinion, 16 of those markets are markets I wouldn’t even come close to considering nowadays, only 4 of those markets in my opinion, at this time, are worth considering. So when you consider the waiting of that index, the Case-Shiller index, the most commonly used barometer of what the “housing market” is doing as the talking heads say, you would think that things are pretty bleak out there. But we again profile 15 additional markets.

And last year I know many of you took advantage of our white paper. And this year we are changing the name of it and we are calling it a real estate forecast book. And it has more than doubled in size. I think it’s going to be about 80 pages this time. And we’re gonna launch that hopefully January 1st or very shortly thereafter with our predictions. And we added some new things to our methodology this year that are pretty darn interesting where we’re looking at 35 markets in total and we’re taking the predictions of many other prognosticators into account.

So several of the famous sources that make predictions every year for whatever they’re worth – some are worth less, some are decent – and we’re taking some of these major predictions that come out every year and we’re going to evaluate them, but then we’re going to add onto them our own predictions, plus we are going to consider, in this kind of matrix that we’re using, we’re going to consider the multi-dimensional nature of income property. And, again, if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know that it is actually possible, and this is not fuzzy math, it’s not double talk, it’s not spin, believe it or not you can actually make money by losing money in the income property business.

Now what do I mean by that? Well, what I mean by it is Charlotte, North Carolina last year about this time when we released our white paper, we predicted a slight decline in values in Charlotte, but because the cash flow was good and because the opportunity for leverage was good, you actually would make a positive return in a declining market. Now, that is unusual because if you were to invest in most of the California markets, most of the northeastern markets, they’re really overvalued and still overvalued high land value markets where you largely have liberal political ideologies, you have general municipalities that are in financial crisis, entire states that are in financial crisis. Those types of places, the depreciation is too big and the cash flow still doesn’t make sense. It seems like every day someone asked me when I’ll start recommending several of these higher value markets such as California, etcetera. And I’ll tell you, it just needs to decline a little bit more before I’m gonna recommend them because we will sell no real estate before its time. You remember those old commercials? We will sell no wine before it’s time.

So now our forecast book, and we’re really calling it a book because it’s much larger this year, we’ve added some stuff to our methodology, and it’s pretty interesting and I think you’ll really like it and so more to come on that. And we’ll point out, given the multi-dimensional nature of income property, which nobody else – by the way, there is nobody else – and by the way, if there’s someone I have not discovered, please call me take me to task on this – there is nobody else out there who makes a forecast and properly evaluates the multi-dimensional nature of an income property investment where they consider appreciation or depreciation as the case may be, where they consider cash flow and they consider leverage.

Now we could also, really to do a true multi-dimensional thing, we could also consider tax benefits. But we don’t in our forecast book because everybody’s tax situation is different, so that was sort of too complex. But that definitely makes the return on investment better in virtually every case. So it’s only better than we forecast when you consider tax benefits.

So what are we gonna talk about on this show? Well, here on show 196 today, the first thing I want to do is share with you I think a rather moving sort of Christmas story. I believe it’s about 8 or 9 minutes long. It’s pretty short. And then I want to talk to you about mortgages and financial planning with your mortgages and a story called A Tale of Two Brothers. So, first, we’re gonna go back quite a few years.

And I believe it’s 1983 if I’m not mistaken, and about 100 episodes ago I actually shared this particular soundtrack in my own voice, but of course I didn’t read it in as moving a way as the speaker we have coming up, really a guest from the past, a late deceased guest, but a person who made a really big impact on history will share kind of a Christmas story. And really it’s a story that just happened to be broadcast on the radio at Christmastime back in the early 80s, but it’s a story about gratitude and about really understanding how lucky we are, because if you’re listening to this you live in a country that offers freedom. And of course I’m so grateful that I happen to be American. I know that many of our listeners are not. But America really has always been kind of the symbol of freedom around the world.

Now, of course, since America was launched 230 some odd years ago, I guess 233 years ago, right? Many countries have followed suit, thankfully, with that example, but back in 1776 it was pretty rare to have a concept like the American experiment. And so I’ll just share this because it’s a pretty moving story, and I just always think of it around the holidays. It’s not religious, really, or anything like that, but it is something that I think we can count as something to be grateful for, if we are lucky enough to live in a free country and a prosperous country. So we’ll do that, and then I will be back to talk about financial planning with your mortgage and The Tale of Two Brothers. And I’m not going to even tell you who is on this because you’ll instantly recognize it. And I’ll back in about nine minutes to talk to you about mortgage financial planning. Here we go, with our next guest.

Male: Not long ago after taking office, President Reagan began to deliver weekly Saturday afternoon radio addresses, reminiscent to Franklin Dylan Roosevelt’s fire side chats. President Reagan used this time with the American people to discuss current issues and the news but also share items that came across his desk such as letters and newspaper clippings.

Christmas day radio address to the nation, Cabinet Room, The White House, December 25th, 1982.

Ronald Reagan:: Merry Christmas from the White House. Nancy and I wish we could personally thank the thousands of you who sent us holiday cards, messages and greetings. Each one is moving and tells a story of its own– story of love, hope, prayer, and patriotism. And each one has helped to brighten our Christmas. Some of the most moving have come from fellow citizens, who unlike most of us, are not spending Christmas day at the family hearth surrounded by friends and loved ones. I’m thinking of the 12 US marines who sent us a card from Beirut, Lebanon, where they all spend their Christmas helping to rebuild the shattered hopes for peace in a suffering land. And I’m thinking of the petty officers serving aboard the USS Enterprise who asked that we remember him and his shipmates this holiday season. “Christmas in the Indian Ocean is no fun,” He writes. “But it’s for a very good cause.” Well, that’s right, sailor. You’re serving a very good cause indeed. On this the birthday of the Prince of Peace, you and your comrades serve to protect the peace. He taught us. You may be thousands of miles away, but the ones here at home, you’ve never been closer.

One of my favorite pieces of Christmas mail came early this year. A sort of modern American Christmas story that took place not in our country’s heartland but on the troubled waters of the South China Sea last October. To me it sums up so much of what is best about the Christmas spirit. The American character, and what this beloved land of ours stands for, not only to ourselves but to me and the less fortunate people around the globe. I want to thank Mr. Gary Camp of Neenah, Wisconsin, for bringing it to my attention. It’s a letter from ordinates man first class John Moony written to his parents from aboard the aircraft carrier midway on October 15th. But it’s a true Christmas story in the best sense.

“Dear, Mom and Dad,” he wrote. “Today we spotted a boat in the water, and we ran into assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. It was about a two-hour job getting everyone aboard. And then they had to get screened by Intelligence and checked out by medical and fed and clothed, and all that. But now they are resting on the hangar deck and the kids, most of them seem to be kids, are sitting in front of probably the first television set they’ve ever seen watching Star Wars. Their boat was sinking as we came alongside. They’d been at sea five days and then ran out of water. All and all, a couple more days, and the kids would have been in pretty bad shape. I guess once in a while,” he writes. “We need a jolt like that for us to realize why we do what we do and how important it really can be. I mean it took a lot of guts for those parents to make a choice like that to go to sea in a leaky boat in hope of finding someone to take them from the sea. So much risk, but apparently they felt it was worth it rather than live in a Communist country. For all of our problems with the price of gas and not being able to afford a new car or other creature comforts this year, I really don’t see a lot of leaky boats heading out of San Diego looking for the Russian ships out there. After the refugees were brought aboard, I took some pictures. But as usual I didn’t have my camera with me for the real picture, the one blazed in my mind. As they approached he ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, “Hello, America sailor. Hello freedom man.” It’s hard to see a boat full of people like that and not a get a lump somewhere between chin and belly button, and it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. People were waving and shouting and choking down lumps in trying not to let other brave men see their wet eyes. A lieutenant next to me said, “Yeah, I guess it’s pay day in more ways than one. We got paid today.” And I guess no one could say it better than that. It reminds us all of what America has always been: a place a man and woman can come to for freedom. I know we’re crowded and we have unemployment, and we have a real burden with refugees, but I honestly hope and pray we can always find room. We have a unique society made up of castoffs of all the world’s wars and depressions, and yet we’re strong and free. We have one thing in common; no matter where our forefathers came from, we believe in that freedom. I hope we always have room for one more person. Maybe an Afghan or a Pole or someone else looking for a place where he doesn’t have to worry about his family starving or a knock on the door in the night and where all men who truly seek freedom and honor and respect and dignity for themselves and their posterity can find a place where they can finally see their dreams come true and their kids educated and become the next generations of doctors and lawyers and builders and soldiers and saviors. Love, John.”

Well, I think that letter just about says it all. Inspite of everything, we Americans are still uniquely blessed. Not only with the rich bounty of our lands, but by a bounty of the spirit, a kind that year-round Christmas spirit that still makes our country a beacon of hope in the troubled world. And that makes this Christmas and every Christmas even more special for all of us who number among our gifts, the birthright of being an American. Until next week. Thanks for listening. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

Jason Hartman: So wasn’t that great? I just love when Ronald Reagan: says there are no ships leaving San Diego harbor to look for Russian ships out there. It’s really very moving, and the people that were rescued say, “Hello, America sailor. Hello freedom man.” We have a lot to be grateful for. If you’re listening to this, you’re living in a free country. And I think that’s the first thing we should remember about the holiday season is the gratitude that comes with it.

So now let’s talk a little bit about mortgage financial planning. And what I’m going to play for you next is just a little YouTube video that I found. I really don’t know the person who produced this or anything. I just found the YouTube video, and I want to play for you the soundtrack of it. And I know the same story. It’s a pretty popular story, actually. And it’s used by financial planners a lot. And what it really talks about is the wisdom of having, as Ric Edelman, we had him on a recent show here, having a big long mortgage and never paying it off. And it still amazes me how many people just don’t get this. And this drives the point home in a very specific way, by comparing two brothers, and it’s called The Tale of Two Brothers. And it shows how one did the old-fashioned thing, and they made a point of paying down their mortgage and doing that as fast as possible and saving on interest cost and retiring debt. And listen, I am certainly aware that tens of millions, or maybe hundreds of millions of people have gotten themselves in the trouble with debt in this wealth cycle, this huge wealth transfer cycle that is going on in the US economy and really the world economy right now. And I get it. But when you really step back, and you look at the big picture, you realize the wisdom of mortgage management, of the prudent use of long-term fixed rate investment grade debt and how incredibly powerful that can be. People will be borrowing money during their lifetime.

So my question to you is, doesn’t it make sense to borrow the money as inexpensively as possible and avoid high interest non-deductible debt credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and harness the power of your mortgage or mortgages and stock up on high-quality long-term fixed rate investment grade debt? Get the lowest rate mortgage. Do not make bi-weekly payments. Do not make one extra payment per year. Do not try to retire that mortgage early. Because we are now, and I can say it officially now, we are in an inflationary environment. A year ago, I couldn’t really say that, but when we’ve seen what’s happened to the price of food and energy especially this year. It’s hidden a lot because we’ve had credit-based assets which have declined in value, namely real estate, great opportunity for us, and of course that depends on the market as all real estate is local, you know that. And we’ve had technology-based assets that keep getting cheaper and cheaper, so we think that there is deflation, but when we look at the real necessities of life, which don’t include iPhones, by the way, or flat screen TVs or great electronics and technological based things like that, when we look at the necessities of life like food and energy, we’re paying a lot more for those things, aren’t we?

So the old way of thinking does not make sense. It’s a depression-era mindset. And some would even argue that we’re in a depression now, or many are calling it the Great Recession, but those big long mortgages are great tools. And just remember, it’s almost, there’s almost never a case where it is wise to send extra money to your mortgage company and pay down your mortgage early. It’s like putting money under your mattress that earns no return on investment or no return on equity, and so I want to ask you this. People quote a metric when they’re looking at investment properties sometime. They call it ROE or Return on Equity. And I submit to you that there is no such thing as return on equity. It simply doesn’t exist. And the reason it doesn’t exist is because think about it, you get a 1099 on all of your investment accounts every year, on all of your savings accounts every year. If you earn interest in an investment account, in a savings account, you get a 1099, right? And you have to declare that income to the IRAs. And on your equity in your properties, if you have equity in your properties, did you get a 1099 on those properties? Did you have to declare income on that equity? Well the answer is no. Of course, you didn’t. And that’s why there is no such thing as return on equity. In my opinion, it is a completely faulty metric. And people still use it. And I think it’s a misnomer. It simply doesn’t exist.

So let’s listen to this short video. Again this one is also about 8 or 9 minutes long, and then I’ll be back to wrap up, and then we will talk about some upcoming shows for you. So listen in to this short little audio track here. There are a lot of numbers in here. I’ll reveal a couple of them when I come back on after this.

Brian Sewell: Hello. My name is Brian Sewell. And I have helped many like yourself. Discover how to leverage your mortgage, use it as a financial tool, and dramatically improve your financial circumstances.

If you had enough money to pay off your mortgage right now, would you? Many people would. In fact, the American dream is to own your own home. Imagine owning your own home without sending payments to a mortgage company or bank. Being so fortunate invokes such a sense of security and satisfaction and wellbeing that you can only dream of it. Imagine after 30 long years, 360 monthly payments, you finally make that last payment. The house is yours forever. If the American dream is so wonderful, how can you explain the fact that so many financially successful people, people who could pay off their mortgage if they wanted to, refuse to do so?

Consider these facts from my research: Less than 2% of our population is self-made millionaires. Of these 100% have the ability to own their own home without a mortgage. 83% carry a mortgage anyway. 100% have the ability to send in extra money along with their monthly payments to eliminate the mortgage ahead of schedule, but 90% choose not to. Instead 85% of the respondents have a 30-year loan, and no one in this group sends an extra principled payments or participates in bi-weekly mortgage plans.

Clearly these financially successful people are not afraid to carry a big long mortgage. Compare yourself to them. If you have a mortgage and are trying to pay it off or dreaming of the day when you make the last payment, you’re trying to do something that financially successful people do not do. What do they know that you don’t?

It’s vital you understand what’s happening here. And we begin with the fact that talking about a mortgage is not a conversation about economic finance. It’s about emotions. You love the idea of owning your own home. You hate your mortgage. If you’re like many, may even fear it. All of these are emotional words. None of them financial. Yet a mortgage is a financial tool. Not an emotional state of mind.

Let me quickly share with you some facts: Fact Number 1: Mortgages don’t lower home values. Your house will appreciate or depreciate in value regardless of what you have in mortgage. Fact number two: Your mortgages are the cheapest money you’ll ever buy. If your interest rate’s about 5 and you’re in an average tax bracket of say 35%, then your effective rate is close to the 3%. Meaning the money only cost you 3%. Fact number 3: Your mortgage is the best way to lower your taxes. Fact number 4: Financial security is not in having equity. It’s in having cash. Fact number 5: Your mortgage becomes cheaper over time. Because of inflation our incomes gradually increase overtime. However our mortgage does not.

To illustrate how all these facts affect you, allow me to share with you a story of two brothers. They each have $40,000 in savings, and both are buying 200,000-dollar homes. Brother A believes in the old way of paying off your mortgages as soon as possible, so he gets a 15-year mortgage at 6.3%, puts $40,000 down, has 0 left over to invest. 13.83 is his monthly payment, 12.27 is his net after tax cost. Then he sends an additional $100 a month to the lender in effort to eliminate the mortgage sooner. Brother A’s paradigm easily represents over 98% of the population, all of which are focused on saving money, they miss out on the opportunity to make money.

Brother B believes in the new way of carrying a big, long mortgage and never paying it off. So he gets a 30-year interest-only loan at 7.42%. He puts a small down payment of $10,000. He has $30,000 remaining to invest. 11.75 is his monthly payment, a hundred per cent of which is tax-deductible in the first 15 years. So his net after tax cost is 7.99. And then he adds $100 a month to his investments plus the $428 that he’s saving from a lower mortgage payment where an account earns 8% rate of return.

Let’s see who made the right decision. Results after just 5 years: Brother A receives $14,000 in tax savings, and he has 0 in savings and investments. Brother B receives $22,000 in tax savings and has $83,000 in savings and investments. The reason Brother A chooses to try and pay off his mortgage is he feels that financial security is found and building up that equity. If there’s a medical crisis, if he were to lose his job, at least he knows he owns his home.

Let’s see what happens after just 5 years if both Brother A and B would suddenly lose their job. Brother A has no savings to get through the crisis. He can’t get a loan even though he has $74,000 more in equity than his brother because he has no job. He must sell his home or face foreclosure because he can’t make the payments. At this point it’s a fire sale, so he must sell it at discount then pay real estate commissions of 6-7%. Brother B has $83,000 in savings to tie them over. He doesn’t need a loan, can easily make his mortgage payments even if he’s unemployed for years. Matter of fact, if only had his mortgage payments, he could pay it for about 8 1/2 years. Enough time to find a new job, start his own business, or even go back to school. He has no reason to panic since he’s still in control. Remember, cash is king. However they don’t lose their jobs. Let’s see what happens after just fifteen years.

Brother A received $25,000 in tax savings, has $30,000 in savings and investments, and he owns his home outright. Brother B received $67,000 in tax savings, and he has $282,000 in savings and investments. His remaining mortgage balance is $190,000, and he has enough in savings to pay it off and still have $92,000 left over free and clear.

Let’s see what would happen after 30 years. Brother A received $25,000 in tax savings. He has $613,000 in savings and investments, and he owns his home. Brother B receives $67,000 in tax savings, has $1.1 million in savings and investments, and owns his home outright, so he can start fresh and enjoy the same benefits once again.

Many take the path of Brother A because they don’t want to pay off that interest. They feel the faster they pay off their mortgage, the more money they save. However, carrying a mortgage doesn’t cause you to lose any money at all. In fact, just the opposite is true. Carrying a mortgage is actually quite profitable. It’s eliminating the mortgage that forces you to give up profitable opportunities.

Jason Hartman: So you see a few of the reasons, and Ric Edelman talked about this when I had him on one of the prior shows here, and you can go back and listen to that one if you happen to miss it, but one of the reasons that you want to carry a bit long mortgage and never pay it off is that the mortgage is unrelated to the value of the property. The property’s value will increase or decrease regardless of the mortgage. The mortgage is unrelated to the amount of income the property will produce. And I ask you this, and this is my own reason, this is not Edelman’s, by the way, when you’ve had one of your rental properties, did the tenant ever say to you, “Well, gee, how much is your mortgage payment a month? Because I want to make sure that I cover your mortgage for you.” No, of course. No tenant ever asked that question before. And so, you will receive the same amount of income from the property regardless of your mortgage balance or regardless of your mortgage payment. Your mortgage is also the cheapest money you’ll ever borrow or ever buy, I should say, because really, you’re buying that money very cheap. And of course, another big reason, as you know from being a regular listener, is that a mortgage is debased or paid off by inflation. So if you have one million dollars’ worth of mortgages and you have 10% inflation in any given year, then the real value of that mortgage at the end of it, or those mortgages that added up to a million before 10% inflation a year goes by, is only nine hundred thousand in real dollars.

The other one is, a mortgage, and this is on your personal residence, of course, but it also applies to investment property in a slightly different way, is really one of the best tax benefits you can get. So if you’re paying, and I’ll just use around number here, 5% and probably can pay a lot less than that nowadays with rates being so low. But say, you’re paying 5% on your mortgage, and it’s on your personal residence, well after taxes, depending on your tax bracket, of course, your real cost of borrowing is probably only about 3%. But get this, what if, like this year, we have in some areas of food and energy, we’ve had upwards of 40% inflation, yes, this year. I know, that’s hard to believe, isn’t it? We’ve had very significant inflation in many of these items. And so, with this, you’re really getting paid to borrow money, and you know I’ve discussed that on prior shows. The other reason is you can get the cash out of the property while you still can, if you’re lucky enough to be able to refi and get cash out of mortgage today, by all means, it is absolutely, positively urgent that you do it. If you’ve done it in the past, good for you.

What’s happening too nowadays, well, you’ve got a bigger mortgage, and many of you are getting bailouts, aren’t you? Because you’re able to do short sales you’re able to do loan modifications, and it’s totally and completely unfair in so many ways. Because the people that have done the right thing, I’m saying right thing, objectively, not necessarily the smart thing, I’m just saying the right thing from a more moral or prudent perspective. They’re not getting any bailouts. Whereas the people who have done the seemingly less responsible and less prudent thing, well, they’re getting all the bailouts. They’re getting all the loan modifications, they’re getting the short sales. While they’ve taken all the money out of that property and they have money to spend to buy a new car, to go on vacations, to buy a few more rental properties, whatever it is. It’s bass ackwards, as the saying goes. All right? It’s not fair. But the world isn’t fair. And life isn’t fair. And we find ourselves in an environment where we have crookery at every level of our financial system. And we’ve got to practice smart financial defense, and one of the ways to do that is to carry a big, long mortgage and never pay it off, to stock up on as much high quality long-term fixed rate investment grade debt attached to what I call “packaged commodities”. Do as much of that as you possibly can. Your mortgage becomes even cheaper over time, both relative to your income and inflation.

And isn’t it amazing in that Tale of Two Brothers, how the one brother, Brother A, ended up with $567,000 in savings and investments where Brother B had over $1.2 million in this example. They both owned their homes outright at the end of the day after 30 years. But you see that Brother B was in a much stronger financial position because he had control of the money. And the lender ended up being his partner having a big stake in his success or the outcome of that property. I always say, and it’s odd to say this because it sounds weird, but one of the best insurance policies you can have is a big loan balance, a high loan balance on your properties. Now of course there are some nuances to this, and I’m not explaining it all here, you’ve heard me talk about it on another show, so how to win the money game? Do not go with the old depressionary thinking. The rules have changed since 1971 when we got off the gold standard, the rules have changed. Since way back in 1930, the rules really started to change with the Federal Reserve. In the 30s we had Bretton Woods, and so, you’ve heard me talk about this on some prior shows, but it’s really a big deal. And use that mortgage as a powerful tool, carry a big long mortgage, and do not, by any means, be anxious just to pay it off. If you want more information on this, listen to prior shows, see our website jasonhartman.com, talk to our investment counselors, come to one of our live events. We have our big event Meet the Masters. We’ve actually changed the name of that and changed the format of it. The Meet the Masters Event coming up in March. You can still get some decent early bird pricing on that on JasonHartman.com.

And also, we have some fantastic properties. We’ve got some great opportunities in Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Indianapolis right now. I’m purchasing properties in these areas also: St. Robert, Missouri, so check out our website jasonhartman.com for properties where you can earn projected returns well upwards of 20-25% annually including some great commercial properties, mobile home parks, apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, and of course, good old single family homes.

So that’s it for this show. And I just want to wish everybody a very happy holiday, a very Merry Christmas, and all the best in 2011. It’s going to be great year in the midst of all the bad news we’re hearing out there, we know how to game the system, if you will. We know how to play the games smart. We know how to be prudent and we know how to turn a crisis into an opportunity, and with that we will look forward to seeing you on the next show. Thank you so much and happy holidays. Merry Christmas to all.

Announcer: What’s great about the shows you’ll find on JasonHartman.com is that if you want to learn more about investing in real estate in different markets, there’s a show for that. If you want to learn 17 ways rich people think and act differently, there’s a show for that. If you want to know how to get paid to borrow, there’s a show for that. And if you’d like to know why Amsterdam doesn’t take dollars or why pools are for fools, there are even shows for that. Yep, there’s a show for just about anything, only from JasonHartman.com. Or type in “Jason Hartman” in the iTunes store.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth show which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by The Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. (Top image: Flickr | spacedustdesign)

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