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Early December, 2011
In This Issue
Save the Date ...
Think About It ...
Don't Keep Us A Secret ...
Paying the Price ...
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Please mark your calendars for Friday, April 20, 2012 when we will once again present our 2012 Your Financial Destiny.  
We're still working out all the details but we have some great speakers lined up for the day. We're also introducing a new format that will give novices as well as veteran bankersalkie a greater opportunity to expand their Self-Empowered Banking knowledge base.
We hope you'll plan to join us on Friday, April 20, 2012. Look for more details in our January 2012, Building Wealth.
Think About It ...*


Percentage of Americans in 2009 who believed the free market is he "best system on which to base the future of the world:" 74%

Percentage of Americans who believe so today: 59% 
Percentage of Chinese who do: 67%

Out of 127 sovereign nations, the number that Standard & Poor's gives top-notch AAA rating: 19
Of these 19, the number besides the US, that has a negative outlook: 1   
Change in sales of homes priced over $1 million: +4%

For homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000: -8%
Now that's 'something to think about ...'

* Source: Chief Executive, July-August 2011, InFact, page 14-16.

Spaces & Places 


Dec 16-19: Port Angeles, WA 


   Congratulations to NPCG's client, Neil Penso, who's wedding we're attending in Port Angeles.


Jan 24-29: Seattle, WA 

   Do you live in any of these areas and have friends or colleagues who you want to introduce to

Self-Empowered Banking 



   If so, then consider hosting a SEB Roundtable, while Julie Ann is in your area.  For more information, contact Julie Ann via email or at 312.957.9400 x 403.  

 Plan NOW to Build Real Wealth in 2012 ...

   It's never too early or never too late to build real wealth by setting up a Self-Empowered Banking System.
   Whether you're 6, 60 or anywhere in between -- NOW is the perfect time to get started.

   To learn more about how Self-Empowered Banking can get you on the road to financial freedom and real wealth creation, contact Julie Ann Hepburn or call 312.957.9400 x 403.

Don't Keep Us a Secret! 

Are you reaping the rewards of Self-Empowered BankingDo you know someone else who could benefit from learning more about how Self-Empowered Banking works and whether it's right for them?

   Please don't keep us a secret! We would be delighted to talk with them further, please refer them to NPCG: Julie Ann Hepburn or at 312.957.9400 x 403.
Quick Links

     Well, since we last chatted, I've been traveling from coast-to-coast and internationally quite a bit, and everywhere I go, people are worried about their money. Do they have enough? How are they going to retire? Are they going to lose their home or life savings because some politician or economist somewhere in the world makes a bad decision or offers poor advice?


     It doesn't matter where I go or what the question is - it all boils down to the same thing - how do we all keep our money, our jobs, our homes, our families safe in a world economy that appears to be out of control without a sound solution in sight?


     If you don't think the gravity of the situation is serious, how about this - the Wall Street Journal now has an interactive Euro Zone Crisis Tracker on their website. It monitors each country within the Euro Zone that is in crisis, gives you the latest news on each country, offers graphs and charts guaranteed to scare the devil out of you. Great, now we can watch the Euro Zone crash in real time!


     All kidding aside, there is talk that what's happening in Europe and other world countries could have an even greater negative impact on the world economy than the United States' economic debacle of 2008. Just like that mess, someone will have to pay for it, and since we, the individuals, are at the bottom of the hill - guess who's going to ultimately be paying?


     In this issue, we're going to look briefly at what kind of impact a Euro Zone crisis might have on your personal economics and what are the kind of things you can do to protect yourself.


     Since we're a little late getting this issue out, we'll have another, more holiday-spirited issue coming out later in December. In the meantime, let's get serious.


     Oh, just a gentle reminder - if you haven't scheduled your 2012 planning session with me yet, it's not too late. Just drop me an email and we'll get you on the calendar.


Warm holiday wishes,

Julie Ann 
JAH New Signature Photo
Julie Ann Hepburn

PS:  We love it when you pass on Building Wealth to friends, family and colleagues, but please remember to use the 'forward email' link at the bottom of every issue so they can have their very own issue the next month. 

Facebook LogoAlso, checkout the new social media icons on each issue and help us spread the word by linking Building Wealth to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts. Thanks for your help.
Paying the Price ...


     There isn't a day that goes by, that the looming Euro Zone crisis is not on the front page of most business media or one of the top broadcast news stories.  Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, -- the list is endless and the European Central Bank is hesitant to step in with quite the same ferocity as the Fed did, when the United States' economy plummeted in 2008.  You may be wondering why.  
     If you've been following the stories, you know that the European Central Bank (ECB) is not a political animal. The ECB does not want to step into the political arena because the European Union is not a political union but an economic one.  
     Quite intelligently, the ECB has also refused to 'print more money' in order to shore up the flagging economies. To take any drastic steps, the ECB wants strong guarantees that strict economic policies put in place by the various ailing governments to prevent future lapses in judgment.  These less economically diligent governments have already violated both the letter and spirit of the law that initially created the Euro Zone, and so the ECB will be extremely cautious going forward.


Over There ...


     Oh, that's happening "over there," you think. Think again. They are thousands of miles away, but what's happening in Europe, the Middle East and Asia is affecting you right here in your living room. How, you may ask? Well, let's see, shall we? 
  • Let's look at the obvious - if you travel, then you know that the cost of visiting Europe has gone up dramatically in the past twelve months.  The value of our dollar buys less in Europe than perhaps at any other time in the last three decades.  We're beginning to see the same trend elsewhere - as close to home as Canada.  For years, the value of the Canadian dollar was always in our favor - not so these days.  It's just a few cents in their favor right now, but it's something to watch.
  • If the declining value of the dollar and the instability within the Euro Zone are creating havoc in the exchange rate, that also means that we are paying a higher cost for any goods produced or services rendered from elsewhere in the world. What did you pay for VW, BMW or Mercedes this year if you made new car purchase? Remember when you could buy your Euro-made car in Europe, go touring and then ship the car home and it was cheaper than buying it in the US?  Try that nowadays.
  • It's cheaper to live here than there.  Yes, retirees and others are moving to the United States because their currency goes farther here than it does in their own country.  Let's face it if you could get $1.35+ for every Euro you had, you would take that deal wouldn't you? Better still, if you could find a way to create this same kind of leverage using your current US dollars, would you take that deal??

     Now those ought to be pretty obvious to most of you.  But, underneath, the instability in the Euro Zone, combined with changes in China's economy, all signal that the world's biggest economies, which includes the US, are all in big trouble. 

     At some point, all the loans will come due, and all the shoring up that the various Central Banks are doing will either create out of control inflation, or a spiraling recession/depression. Sounds pretty gloom and doom to me, as it should to you.
Protecting Yourself ...


     You - with whatever savings, investments or retirement plans you have - are right in the middle of all of this. Since you don't have any real control over monetary policy, how can you protect yourself?
     We've said it often before - it's time to get out from under the ravages of the current economy as fast as you can and put the dollars you do have to better, more efficient use. Here are some things you can do right now to help safeguard what you do have. 
  • Pay off all your credit cards. Live within your current means; plan and save for the big items.
  • If you have government-sponsored retirement accounts like 401Ks, IRAs, KEOUGHs, etc. - get your money out of these now.  Even if you have to pay a penalty, that amount will not be as bad as losing everything in a recession/depression. We've had enough 'crashes' in the last several years to know that another one is coming - we just don't know when. It's not if, it's when.
  • If you have big debt - houses, cars, boats, etc. - start paying these off by putting extra money toward the principal you owe. The faster you pay the principal off, the more quicker you'll get out from under this debt. 
  • Have your debt evaluated by someone who understands how to eliminate debt.  At National Private, every new client goes through a process that includes a Debt Elimination Worksheet. With this document, we look at every single debt, and working with our clients, we determine the best way to eliminate each debt given the current resources available. We then work with them to put the plan into action.  

     If you're not sure how to get started doing any of the above, then that's a perfect signal that you should have a conversation with National Private. There are many ways to get to the result that's right for you. Part of our job is to help you figure out the many possible options and determine which ones are exactly what you need.


     If resources allow, we'll set up a Self-Empowered Banking System to help fuel the debt elimination plan. No matter what your financial picture looks like right now, at some point, you will need a safe place for your wealth (yes, I said WEALTH!) to reside. It might as well be in your own banking system, where you have complete access, liquidity and control of it.
     The best way to avoid the fallout of a crashing Euro Zone and unstable world economy is to get as much of your money out of the system that's fueling the instability and learn to work with your funds in a different way. That wouldn't be a bad idea for the world's Central Banks to consider.  
     Fortunately, you don't have to wait for them to make anymore 'monetary policy' because you can take control now and learn to use the funds you have available differently. That's what Self-Empowered Banking is all about.


   If you're interested in not being subject to the Euro Zone or somebody else's 'monetary policy', then consider taking the right steps to put it in your own Self-Empowered Banking System, where you have complete control. For more information contact Julie Ann Hepburn or at 312.957.9400 x 403.