Table of Contents
The Palm Beach Letter–FAQs
General Questions About Palm Beach Letter
General Questions About Palm Beach Letter
General Questions about Legacy Portfolio
Palm Beach Current Income–FAQs
General Questions about Palm Beach Current Income
Extra Income Project–FAQs
General Questions about Extra Income Project
General Questions about Retirement Insider
General Questions about C.A.P. Strategy
General Questions about Tom’s Confidential
Income for Life–FAQs
General Questions about Income for Life
General Customer Service
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A: The Palm Beach Letter is an investment advisory based on the personal investing strategy of New York Times best-selling author and multimillionaire Mark Ford. It’s a comprehensive, holistic program with one simple goal: to make you richer every year, using the kinds of strategies that have helped other people build, safeguard, and sustain wealth. The Palm Beach Letter has a team of editors and researchers with more than 70 years of combined investing experience. They recommend the world’s safest and most profitable income-paying investment ideas.
A: Common Sense Publishing publishes The Palm Beach Letter. Common Sense Publishing is an independent research and publishing business located in Delray Beach, Fla.
A: We do not have any personal stakes in our stock recommendations. Our business reputation is more valuable than any profit we could possibly make from investing our own money into a single stock idea. So when we find a good stock, we write about it. And if that stock works out for you, you reward us with your continued business.
Additionally, if we recommend stocks in which we have invested our own money, it could look like we are making these recommendations solely to benefit our personal financial positions. It is important for our readers to know that we have no ulterior motives behind our stock picks.
To make sure our thoughts on this matter are clear, we do not permit the editor to invest in any of the stocks that he recommends.
A: No analyst working at the Palm Beach Research Group may own the stocks he recommends to you.
This, at first glance, may appear to be a strange rule. Assuming a writer waits a suitable period of time after a recommendation, there’s certainly nothing ethically wrong with him then buying the recommended stock. And if a writer believes his own words… shouldn’t he buy the stock?
So… why don’t we allow our writers to also invest in the stocks they recommend to you? There’s a legal reason.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently claimed, in open federal court, that it has the right to regulate any action that’s taken in conjunction with the purchase or sale of a security. The SEC thus claims to have the right to review and censor any publication if the writer also buys the recommended stock.
This claim treads upon freedoms newsletter writers won in the landmark 1985 Supreme Court case, Lowe v. SEC.
The SEC’s claims haven’t been adjudicated yet, so it’s not clear whether buying a recommended stock puts the writer in legal jeopardy. Until we have a firm idea of what the law of the land is, it makes sense not to do anything that might get us sued by the feds. That’s why, currently, we don’t allow our writers to buy what they recommend. Ironically, it is okay for our employees to buy what others in the company have recommended.
A: We have been carrying advertising since we began publishing The Palm Beach Letter in 2011. Every so often, a subscriber writes us a letter objecting either to a particular ad or to the very idea that we carry ads at all.
We carry advertising because it supplements the income we get from selling subscriptions. Without it, we would have to charge more than we do for your subscription.
Some people fear that the ads we run might influence our ideas and advice. They worry that our advertisers might try to influence us to favor the sort of ideas or products they are selling.
We understand this fear, but we can tell you that it is unfounded. There is not—nor has there ever been—a single word we’ve written that has been influenced by the ads we run. In this respect, we are no different from The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, or any other subscription-based publication. We carry advertising, but our editorial department is entirely independent.
We NEVER accept money—even in the form of advertising—from stock or bond promoters, brokers, or dealers of any sort.
The most common sort of advertising you will see in The Palm Beach Letter will be one that promotes a newsletter or investment advisory service. Most of the time, these are from companies that also run ads for The Palm Beach Letter. This is how our industry works.
The fact that we run an ad for a competitor’s newsletter doesn’t mean we endorse those editorial ideas. It means only that we know that editor’s business well enough to know that he or she will provide you with the product that’s promised and give you a refund if you are not satisfied.
We don’t allow just anyone to advertise. We have strict guidelines that we adhere to. For one thing, we don’t accept advertising from businesses that don’t deliver the products they promise in a timely manner and don’t provide refunds.
We also won’t allow anyone to advertise to our customers if we have reason to believe that they do not provide genuinely good customer service.
But since we can’t know everything about every business that advertises with us, we do two things to protect you.
First, we let you know that you are reading an advertisement by noting it on the top of the page. It says “Advertisement” and is followed by a disclaimer.
Second, we personally stand behind any guarantee given. If, for any reason, any of our advertisers fails to honor their refund guarantee, we will stand behind it.
If you don’t care to read advertising, simply skip over it. But keep in mind that many of our subscribers also subscribe to several other advisory services.
They tell us they like seeing the ads we carry because they are interested in other ideas and feel confident that if we are carrying the ad, they can get a guaranteed refund. (And we provide that guarantee.)
Occasionally, The Palm Beach Letter hosts advertisements for other financial newsletters. If I followed the recommendations in all of these articles, I would be bouncing like a yo-yo. Do the publishers of The Palm Beach Letter believe any of the documents they advertise, or is this just advertising revenue?
A: This is one of the most common questions we receive.
In short, it’s not our job to shield you from opinions that differ from ours. In fact, many of our subscribers enjoy receiving different views and opinions, and you should, as well. Because the better informed you are, the better your decisions will be.
If the editor is an independent thinker doing his or her best to serve the readers, and the publisher is making an interesting offer with a money-back guarantee, we’ll consider sending you the advertisement, even if we wouldn’t write about the strategy or opinion in The Palm Beach Letter.
In order to provide you with honest, independent, unbiased advice, we have to advertise. This is the only way our business model works, because we don’t collect fees, commissions, or payments from any of the companies or service providers we write about. As you know, we’re fiercely independent.
To make it easy for you to delete these messages if you’re not interested, we always put a note at the top of the email that lets you know we’re sending you an ad.
How different is The Palm Beach Letter from all of these other financial newsletters I get advertisements for?
A: Agora—our holding company—is a company that has many investment letters under different publishing companies. The newsletters you mentioned are from those different publishers. Some of them are similar to one another. But even those that are similar are unique.
But The Palm Beach Letter is also unique. Our system for selecting stocks is proprietary. We have standards that no other newsletter uses. We believe those standards give you a distinct advantage. As a subscriber to PBL and other Agora newsletters, you have to decide whether you find that to be true.
Here’s an example. Dan Ferris of Stansberry & Associates has a newsletter called The 12% Letter. Dan’s recommendations are—in some ways—similar to the recommendations we make in the Performance Portfolio. (That’s not a coincidence. Tom used to write that newsletter.)
But our Performance Portfolio is also different in many ways. Mark challenged Tom’s investment strategy on a few points, and he made some improvements as a result of that pushback.
This is not to say that PBL is better than The 12% Letter. Our long-term track record will determine that. We can say we like ours a little better. And we’re sure Dan would say the same thing about The 12% Letter.
What this means is that you, as a consumer of investment information, must make a decision. Will you subscribe to only our services? Or will you also subscribe to others? If you stick with us, everything is simpler because, in addition to our portfolios, we provide a system for asset allocation that is based on our portfolios. No other newsletter we know of does that.
You need to decide which of Agora’s newsletters you intend to follow. To make that decision easier for you, we make a point of teaching you everything we know about investing and wealth building, in addition to giving you recommendations. That is why you get an extra service—Mark’s Creating Wealth newsletter—for free.
We want our readers to understand exactly why and how our newsletters are better.
Mark wrote an essay about picking one letter and following it. You can read it here.
Any good books I can read so that I can get a better understanding of how the markets work?
A: One of our favorite books on investing is Joel Greenblatt’s The Little Book That Beats the Market. It’s a simple, straightforward, and concise roadmap to value investing. Tom loves the Market Wizards series and Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Jim Rogers’ books are great, as well, especially Investment Biker.
How does the “normal” guy on the street, working from paycheck to paycheck, get rich with The Palm Beach Letter?
A: As a general rule, we make only one recommendation per month. That’s 12 per year. Even if you had only $6,000 per year to invest, you could invest in all of them.
But we don’t want to mislead you. You are not going to get rich quickly by investing $6,000 per year. Our recommendations are meant to help you get rich safely, which means slowly. There are plenty of financial “experts” out there touting “killer” schemes, as some call them, to get rich quickly with just one or two deals. You can try them if you like, but we’re 100% sure they will make you poorer.
The way to get rich quickly is to generate a lot more income than you are currently generating. That means more work and perhaps a different kind of work. In the last 10 years, Mark wrote a dozen books on this subject using the pen name Michael Masterson. He recommends Ready, Fire, Aim and Seven Years to Seven Figures, in particular.
In addition to Mark’s recommendations, our monthly issues, and weekly updates, remember that we periodically bring you our Creating Wealth essays. Here, Mark discusses general strategies for increasing your wealth—including advice about balancing your portfolio, safeguarding your assets, and earning more income. The same strategies Mark has used to build his wealth.
My son-in-law is always telling me about these great stocks he and his friends buy. I like The Palm Beach Letter’s focus on safety. How can I know if the stocks he’s telling me about are as good as the ones you recommend?
A: You are smart to want to investigate these stocks yourself. Even though you like and respect a person, he or she may not have the same investing goals and standards that you do.
Let me share with you what The Palm Beach Letter staff looks for in a stock.
First, we look for steady growth. We like companies that grow their sales and earnings year in and year out. We ask ourselves several questions… What happened to them in 2008-2009? Did they sail right through that traumatic time? If not, how quickly did they bounce back? We want companies that are predictable and that rarely disappoint.
Next, we look at the balance sheet. This financial statement lists a company’s assets and liabilities. We make sure it has low debt levels. We check for staggered debt it can pay off or refinance as it comes due.
Companies can manipulate earnings. It is much harder to manipulate cash flow. How much net cash came into the company during the quarter? How much of this cash did it reinvest in future growth? What did it do with its free cash flow, the cash left over after it invests in its business?
Were shareholders high on the list of those rewarded? We look at dividends and share buybacks, the two uses of cash that most directly benefit shareholders. We look back five, 10, sometimes 30 or more years. Has management consistently rewarded shareholders? If not, is there evidence that it’s committed to shareholders going forward?
A stock can pass all of these tests and still not make the cut. The best company in the world can have a stock that’s wildly overvalued. And when the market correction comes, its stock will be hurt badly.
To check for a reasonable valuation, our favorite number is price to free cash flow—How much are we paying for the cash that’s available to reward shareholders?
Finally, when we’ve combed through all of the numbers, we look at something that doesn’t show up anywhere in the financial statements. We evaluate management.
Each quarter, management holds a conference call. They present results for the last three months and answer questions. Over the course of several calls, we get a feel for how well they know the business. Are their answers consistent? Do they have a passion for their company? A vision for its future?
We believe stocks that pass all of these tests are worthy of your investing dollars. Their prices will not go up in a straight line. But over the years, they will grow your investing dollars. And they will grow them safely.
I don’t know how your son-in-law’s stocks will measure up to these standards. But I bet you can have some interesting discussions asking him about these criteria.
A: To sign up for The Palm Beach Letter, please contact our friendly customer service at 888-501-2598. You can also sign up here.
CW General Questions
A: Creating Wealth is an essay series written by New York Times best-selling author and multimillionaire Mark Ford. Mark is—admittedly—not a stock market junkie. He doesn’t recommend stocks. Instead, in Creating Wealth, he talks about how stocks—along with other assets—fit into an overall strategy of wealth building. Mark takes readers beyond the narrow area of Wall Street. He explains the ideas and strategies he uses in his own life so you can follow his lead, accumulate a fortune, and live richly. This series is free when you subscribe to The Palm Beach Letter.
A: Via email. Creating Wealth is an email-only essay series.
A: You will receive one newsletter on the fourth Monday of the month from Creating Wealth.
CLB General Questions
A: The Wealth Builders Club is a coaching program designed for the “not yet wealthy.” The goal of the club is simple: to help members become wealthy in fewer than seven years. The core of the club’s teachings come from New York Times best-selling author and multimillionaire Mark Ford.
There are six separate programs within the Club:
- The Extra Income Project, a unique program designed to help you create a second or third stream of income through various opportunities
- Rental Real Estate 101, an introductory course in real estate investing
- Retire Next Year, which shows you how you to retire in paradise for less than you might think
- How to Start a Million-Dollar Business for $25,000, which contains Mark’s best ideas about entrepreneurship from the 2,500 essays he wrote at Early to Rise and his six best-selling books on entrepreneurship, business management, and marketing
- Living Rich/Rich Mind, which explores living richly on the income you already have
- Income for Life, a program about using cash-value whole life insurance to earn up to 5% per year tax-free.
Combined, it is the most comprehensive wealth-building program in the world. Please click here for more information about joining the club.
A: Yes, as we wrote above, the club has six separate programs.
“The Extra Income Project” is a unique program designed to help you create a second or even a third stream of income. As Mark has explained many times, “There is no faster or surer way to become wealthy than by creating extra income and allocating it toward one’s investments.”
This program will consist of two parts. The first part will be a series of essays on Mark’s favorite extra-income opportunities. These will include ideas for making extra income from your current career, plus many great ideas for accessing extra income from side businesses, freelancing, investment “jobs,” and so on.
The second part will be a series of companion reports and manuals (when applicable) that will explain just what you need to do to initiate any of these extra-income streams. Industry experts will author these reports and manuals that Mark recommends. The reports will outline what you need to do to start this extra stream of income. If you still want to continue with the opportunity, you can buy the complete program.
“Rental Real Estate 101” covers Mark’s unique take on the real estate market. As you may remember from reading previous essays in The Palm Beach Letter, the largest portion of Mark’s very substantial wealth has come from investing in rental real estate. After 30-plus years investing, Mark is convinced that now is the best time to buy rental property.
We also have “Retire Next Year.” We developed this program after we sent out a survey and learned that 66% of Palm Beach Letter subscribers want to retire in fewer than seven years—yet aren’t financially ready to do so.
As a consultant to International Living for 20-plus years, Mark knows dozens of ways you can enjoy a happy, rich, and fulfilling retirement in beautiful places around the world and even in the United States.
Like the Extra Income Project, this program will often have two parts: Mark’s essays, and then a series of “how to” manuals—or blueprints, if you will—on how to replicate these exact lifestyles anywhere in the world.
Then there’s “Living Rich.” This is one of Mark’s pet projects. It is not about adding income or investing, but it’s about living richly on the income you currently have.
Mark is always telling the PBL staff that living rich has very little to do with how much money you make or how many millions you’ve socked away in brokerage accounts.
In a series of essays, Mark will tell you about how to enrich every aspect of your life, from the house you live in to the car you drive, to the vacations you take, and so on.
“How to Start a Million-Dollar Business for $25,000” contains all of Mark’s best ideas about entrepreneurship from the 2,500 essays he wrote for EarlytoRise.com and from his six best-selling books on entrepreneurship, business management, and marketing.
Last, we have “Income for Life Premium.” You’ve likely never heard of this system. Wall Street has kept its powerful strategies hidden from the mainstream public, even though it has put billions of dollars into it. It’s a vehicle that’s been around for 200 years—longer than anything Wall Street has invented.
The companies that help administer the Income for Life system are so safe they’ve paid dividends upward of 150 years in a row—through every recession, depression, world war, or crisis our world has faced. Best of all, your money grows tax-free AND you can take it out and use it tax free. Tom and Tim are going to teach you how to set up and use this system to create a lifetime of income.
We first introduced Income for Life to all Palm Beach Letter subscribers here. With Income for Life Premium, we go into much deeper detail about how to use your policy. We have case studies, webinars, and interviews covering topics like how to use the money during retirement.
A: You can expect to get approximately one communication from the Wealth Builders Club every week.
Every week you’ll get an essay (and sometimes a report or manual) from Mark on one of the series he’ll be covering. For example, we start with the first installment of The Extra Income Project.
Then, each week thereafter, we cycle through each of Mark’s other series. You’ll get the first installment of the Rental Real Estate 101 lessons the following week. Then, you’ll get the first installment of Retire Next Year, and so on.
Plus, from time to time, Tim will update you on his own wealth-building journey.
My wife and I are in a very bad financial position. We’re in our 60s, and we have no savings and no significant assets. And we ruined our credit when we declared bankruptcy last year. On top of all of that, as soon as I hit 60, it felt like everything suddenly started going wrong with my body—all at once!
Is it even possible to save ourselves at this point? Club member Paul T.
A: I’m happy to answer your letter, and particularly the question you ask at the end.
Yes, it is definitely possible to “save” yourself at 60. Sixty is the new 40. The world of wealth has changed so much over the past 60 years—as we both know. Creating wealth today is easier than ever. Especially for people with knowledge and experience—which you have.
The first thing I’d say is to stop reading all the doom-and-gloom material that is out there. Yes, the world economy is burdened with debt. And yes, that debt will be paid one way or another.
You can’t rely on the government to help you, and you may not be able to rely on that 403(b), either.
So the second thing you must do is take responsibility for your future finances and well-being. This is not something you can simply agree to. You must make a serious review of what you’ve done in the past. (You seem to have done that.) And you must make a serious personal commitment to change.
I can help you with this last bit. I wrote a book about change—incorporating everything I’ve learned about the subject—several years ago. It’s called The Pledge. Members of the Wealth Builders Club receive a copy for free.
The next important thing you must do is create extra income for yourself and your spouse. Most investment newsletter gurus don’t talk about this because they don’t know anything about it—other than the income you can get from dividend-bearing stocks.
An extra income is the single-most important way you can become wealthy at 60 and enjoy a comfortable, worry-free retirement. Since this income is “extra,” you can devote all of it to the safe investments we talk about in The Palm Beach Letter.
As to your debt and bankruptcy, don’t be intimidated by it. There are ways to contain and even eliminate your debt, as well as repair your credit. We’re putting together a new program on this very subject.
In fact, I’ve already written a few essays on assessing your credit score. (Please see my credit score briefs here, here, and here.) Our credit repair series will soon be available to Wealth Builders Club members. This is definitely something you should follow closely.
There are also alternative retirement lifestyles that will allow you to live very well on an amazingly small amount of income. This, too, is a program I’ve developed with the Wealth Builders Club team. It’s called Retire Next Year because these opportunities don’t require much more than a modest income, which you already have, and the willingness to make a change.
And while you are creating new income streams and restructuring your investing, you can live very well if you follow the advice of another program we have, called Living Rich.
All of these programs will be available individually or together as part of the Wealth Builders Club. This club was designed specifically for people in your situation. (There are millions—so don’t feel alone.)
And finally, feel good about being 60. I am about to turn 62 and have never had more energy or more optimism than I have now. If you follow the programs we are developing, I am quite sure you will have the same energy and optimism a year from now.
I’ve made some stupid decisions in my life. I’m 58 years old and have nothing to show for it. I drove a tractor trailer most of my life. I even owned my rig until I lost it to the high cost of fuel. Next, I tried Internet marketing but got ripped off numerous times.
I used some of my Social Security disability payments to join the Wealth Builders Club. I feel Mark and the Club can help me make the right moves this time around. Is there hope for me even though I’m poor, have little money saved, and owe back taxes?
I feel the club is my chance at freedom. I want work hard to achieve it with the right information and the right decisions. If not, I’ll have to quit and ask for a refund. Please let me know something to put my worries at ease. Club member Timothy L.
A: Timothy, we designed the club specifically for people who are not yet wealthy. It will work for you if you take full advantage of it. It’s not going to give you a miracle pill that you can swallow and wake up rich, but it will give you what you need to make progress one day at a time.
I grew up relatively poor. I’ve been in debt and I’ve felt bad about myself… but I always felt that if I worked hard enough, I could overcome anything—including any sort of financial challenge.
From what you’ve written, I feel like you don’t believe you have what it takes to get out of debt, develop more income, and grow wealthier. Maybe that’s because, in the past, you went from good to bad to worse, financially speaking. You feel you’ve failed yourself and possibly your family.
Look, it sounds bad. But guess what? You are still alive, still relatively healthy, and still capable of making progress.
You ask me if I think you should quit trying and ask for a refund. But you aren’t really serious, because you know that I’m not going to say, “Sure, Timothy. Go ahead. Quit the club. Get your refund and spend it on something that will make you temporarily happy.”
You asked me because you know deep down inside that you should continue making an effort. But you also know that it will be hard, that you will have to overcome your negativity and your habit of constantly berating yourself. And you will also have to overcome countless bad financial habits such as overspending and impulsive investing, procrastination and self-doubt, and mental, emotional, and physical laziness.
When you’re down so low, it is very difficult to imagine that you can ever get to the top. It is a long road up, and a steep one. Every step takes energy.
I’m thinking of how I once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I began with a chest cold. Every step was a challenge. If I had any idea when I started how many steps I would have to take, I probably wouldn’t have made it to the top. I did by putting my head down and taking one step at a time.
And that’s what you have to do. Take one step at a time. Begin small.
Here are five things you can do tomorrow morning that will make you feel better. Do one push-up. Spend one minute meditating or simply breathing slowly, counting your breaths. Do one sit up. Spend one minute stretching. Then, and this is the most important thing, say something nice to the first person you see.
If you do that and only that tomorrow morning, Timothy, I promise you that you will feel a little bit better about yourself. You will have a tiny bit more energy and optimism. And you will have a tiny bit more self-confidence, because you will have accomplished something—not a great deal, admittedly—but something at the very beginning of the day.
Do that and then use that little bit of extra energy to read or re-read one of my Wealth Builders Club essays. Do that for several days in a row, increasing any individual activity if you want (three push-ups, two compliments), and then see if things don’t start to improve.
I recently joined The Palm Beach Letter as a Platinum member and now I’m part of the Wealth Builders Club. But I am questioning if I belong in Wealth Builders Club. I have a net worth of a little over $2.1 million with plans to retire in two years, at age 55.
My investments are diversified among asset classes (after my “you can never go wrong with investing in real estate” all-in investment lesson learned back in the ‘90s). I have my home, waterfront home lots in Belize, fine art, numismatic coins, life settlement policies, precious metals, collectibles, other tangible assets, and quality stocks similar to what I am now purchasing at the advice of The Palm Beach Letter.
Based on the above, do you feel I will benefit from being a Wealth Builders Club member? Either way, I filled out my pledge this past weekend and mailed it this morning. Club member Ron E.
A: You’ve done very well for yourself—especially someone as young as you are.
Do you need the Wealth Builders Club? Probably not.
If you continue to do what you are doing, you’ll almost certainly reach your goals. On the other hand, why would you NOT become a member? The cost for a lifetime membership (plus in the yearly maintenance fees) is minuscule for you.
And there are many components of the program that will more than justify your investment. For example, the Living Rich series will refine your thinking about making, investing, and spending money. Any single important lesson you learn (such as what sort of house and neighborhood to live in) could make a difference of more than a million dollars over your lifetime.
Another thing you may enjoy is our program for indulging any high-risk, high-return fantasies you have. For someone of your current wealth, limiting this urge to a total portfolio of $1,000 could make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars over your investing career.
You may find some of the programs useful for friends or family members. I’m talking about such programs as Income for Life, the Extra Income Project, How to Start a Million-Dollar Business for $25,000, and our upcoming credit and debt repair program.
In short, the answer is that joining the club is not a necessary decision for you, but for someone of your current wealth and age, getting multiple returns on your club membership will be very, very easy.
I hope you’ll continue with us as a club member.
I’m an avid fan of your writing and club. I feel the need and urge to start now and to stop procrastinating, so I have taken almost all of your advice onboard and started applying it. I believe copywriting would be a great avenue for me to take, but I have been fighting with myself about starting it.
As of next year, I will be returning to university to study full time. Also, I have our first baby on the way. Mix that in with two jobs, and my timeline seems very stretched.
Will my taking on this extra study pull the line too tight? Also, I am concerned about focus… will I be successful if I focus on each of these items on particular parts of the day or week? Club member Julius A.
A: If you want work done, ask a busy person.
When I was in your situation—with a young child—I carried a full load as a Ph.D. student at Catholic University (taking classes at night). Then I taught a class in the early morning to earn extra income, and worked full time during the day. On weekends, I studied writing and public speaking and anything else I could get my hands on.
So the answer is no, there is no limit to what you can do. You won’t lose focus as long as you use a good goal and task system, such as the one I outline in my book The Pledge.
Just make sure that you spend 80% of your time and energy on learning things that matter. Be like a shark looking for food. You want to be eating (learning) quality meat. Make friends with great teachers and find business mentors. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. But recognize that the responsibility is always on you.
One caveat: You will have to talk to your wife and get her agreement. You will be working nonstop to create an abundant life for your family. But that will mean you won’t be there to be a part-time Mr. Mom as many young men today like to be. You’ll need her support.
A: To sign up for the Wealth Builders Club, please contact our friendly customer service at 888-501-2598. You can also sign up here.
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your advice and straightforward approach. I don’t want sugarcoated words to guide me through this crazy economic mess the world is currently in.
Your guidance on creating good financial habits, how to start a business, and other terrific advice has renewed my hope and enthusiasm. There’s a saying I like to use with my kids when I repeat advice to them and they start to complain I already told them that: “We need reminding as much as we need learning.”
Your advice to start on a second business has spurred me on to put up an e-book on Amazon that I wrote over a 4-5 year period. I have been hesitating to do it, but I decided it was time after reading your piece.
I’ve been in the commercial real estate business for 28 years and have been involved with the purchase of over 9 million square feet of office buildings. I also syndicated 350,000 square feet of office. I compiled and distilled many of the lessons in this book. And I’ve had very positive responses from people in the commercial real estate industry.
I’m sending it along as a gift to you and your team. All I ask is if you like it, that you write a review on Amazon.
Click here to check it out.
Thanks again for your encouragement and willingness to share your hard-earned advice. It has much more impact than you probably realize, and I appreciate it very much. Club member Brian H.
Mark’s Response: Brian, good for you! We’ll take a look at your book and post comments, as you suggested. Other Wealth Builders Club members can do the same.
We’re actually evaluating a program right now for our Extra Income Opportunity series that teaches you how to write an e-book and sell it on Amazon. If this program passes our test, we’ll feature this in a future Extra Income essay so the rest of the club members can benefit from this income opportunity as well.
Mark, I think you come across very strong at times without having all of the facts, but in having a general conversation, I think that is true for all of us.
You are not some touchy-feely person but a business-at-hand, focused individual, and I admire that. That is not to say that you don’t empathize and have concern for others; it is just that people need to be more self-efficient and self-sufficient! I don’t care what country you live in. If you have your faculties at all, there is a job to be had!
I think that your background was a great learning foundation that undoubtedly a lot of people in our world did not receive. I, too, was raised without a lot of money but was rich in the learning I received to be a responsible human being.
I never had the attitude that anyone owed me anything. If I wanted something, it was up to me to work and get it. My parents taught me that a good name was to be valued far above material things. My character would be built on hard work and honesty.
Yes, I was popular in school, a cheerleader, and a leader. Many of my friends got anything they wanted. They wore fancy clothes and had fancy new cars at a young age. Now they have completely wasted their lives on drugs and frivolous pursuits and are not happy.
I have to stand on the side of working hard and creating a life of value as the ultimate road to happiness. And I, for one, am happy that I chose that path.
I worked at Bill’s Dollar Store at an age when I had to have my parent’s permission to work. It certainly didn’t kill me. I was not embarrassed by having to work there. I was just willing to work at any honest job that would pay me a wage so I could buy my clothes for school. And to have money for extra activities and relieve some of the burden on my family.
I married my high school sweetheart—yes, the football co-captain, a hard-working man, also—and we have been through some very tough times in our 45 years of marriage. But you know what? He always said he would find a job to support his family, even if it meant going out and digging ditches.
With our faith in God and hard work, we never had a bill collector come to the door or had any assistance from the government.
I find the problem today being that so many people want to start at the very top and not do the due diligence required to advance to that state in life, climbing one rung at a time to the top of the ladder.
I believe that our world is going to come to a crossroads at which people will have no choice but to get real, get busy, and build a life worth living.
I am enjoying my training with PBL and the Wealth Builders Club. I love learning and still have much to learn. Thank you for the combined hard work of all in paying your success forward and helping others. Club member Karen B.
Mark’s Response: Thanks for your story. I found it inspiring. It isn’t every cheerleader who grows up to be as wise as you are.
It was easy for me to sign my pledge to the Wealth Builders Club! I need to get back to basics and act as I did when I was in my late 20s. At that time, I was working and barely making ends meet. I managed to save $700. I really wanted to own my own home and could not see how I would ever be able to do that.
But I saw an ad in the Chicago Tribune that changed my life: “How I turned $1,000 into $1 million through investment in real estate.” I attended the free lecture and then signed up for the weekend-long “how-to” course.
The course cost $400. That was more than half my savings, but I knew I would make that back after my first real estate transaction. My friends all said I was crazy, but I did it anyway. Going into the course, I didn’t know anything about real estate. But I left the course full of excitement and ready to begin using all I had learned.
I was trying to buy real estate with no money down (OPM—other people’s money). Real estate offices laughed me out of their offices in some cases, but I refused to give up. I was highly motivated and believed it was possible to do all I had learned in the course.
Within six months of pounding the streets every weekend and some evenings after work, it happened. I bought a three-unit building for $108,000. The owners financed it with $5,000 down (which I borrowed from my life insurance policy and a family member who was promised repayment—within one year—with interest).
It was the best deal I ever made. I was able to live rent-free in one unit while the rent from the other two units paid the mortgage and all expenses and still provided cash flow. In another six months, I refinanced the building, paid back the loans for the down payment, and took out $10,000 to put down on my second building. It was fun and profitable.
I’ve continued to buy and sell properties since. I currently live in Southern California on a property that has a second house on the lot. The second house pays the mortgage and most expenses, so my cost of living is very low.
Lots happened in between with family, being a single working mom, jobs, health issues, etc. I am now 67 and need to “reinvent” myself. Anything is truly possible if you work hard enough and can pass through your fears and doubts. I look back at so many mistakes I made. But so what? Today is a new day.
When I started, I didn’t desire to be a millionaire. I just wanted my own house. But today I say, why not be a millionaire? I have been in a helping profession for 45 years, and I am glad I could do it, but now I want to be totally worry-free, and I can’t retire because I haven’t done all the right things to prepare.
I am gobbling up all of Mark’s ideas and saying, “Yes, yes, yes! I can do that.” I have many projects going to get my streams of income off the ground. The golden buckets will be full by this time next year. The money spent on Tom’s options course is also well spent. I hit one snag, but all is well and I should be making my first trade next week.
I have moved all my IRA and retirement funds into an online account that I can see and manage. I eliminated the astronomical fees I’d been unaware of for the past 20 years! No wonder these accounts didn’t grow that much. I have been totally ignorant of how the market works, but I am rapidly learning with your help.
It’s never too late—you can teach an old dog new tricks! I’ve read every word you have sent and so appreciate what you are doing. I feel young again and ready to be a millionaire in the next five to seven years.
For the second time in my life, this is money well spent that has already changed my life. Thank you, Palm Beach Letter group.
With my experience in real estate, I know there is no easy formula. It takes hard work to see it all through if you want to make money at it. The process can break down at any point and you have to start all over again and again.
It will happen, but you can’t give up. It’s never easy, but I just happen to love it, so I don’t care that it’s hard. I see potential in everything and can’t wait to make it a reality. Club member Kerry K.
Mark’s Response: Wow, thank you for sharing your inspirational story. It’s great to hear how you found success with rental real estate. You are right—you’re never too old to benefit from the strategies and programs we talk about. I hope your experiences and positivity encourage other club members. Please keep us posted on your wealth-building journey.
I am 83 years old and was supposed to be retired from my law practice five years ago. But many of my long-established clients have continued to ask for my help.
I am not wealthy, but have enough to live on. However, my wife is 30 years younger than I. My concern is for her well-being in a country that seems destined for future problems from out-of-control debt. Inflation is my major worry, so “wealth building” is very important to me.
Just today, I began to open and read your communications. My Pledge is on the way. With my FINAL case settling, I can get back to looking at the future—mine more limited, but Maria’s extended. I really appreciate this opportunity to participate in a program and with a group that is so committed.
I am not asking for your patience, just a notice that although I’m retired, no one should doubt my ability and willingness to “catch up.” Club member Allen R.
Mark’s Response: Allen, you are my hero. I hope I can have the same pluck and resolve when I am 83.
I appreciate the information I have received thus far. My outlook on wealth building has changed a lot in the past year, and being a member of the Wealth Builders Club has altered it even more. I have just finished reading The Pledge, and I bought three more of Mark’s books, which I plan to finish in the next two weeks.
I cannot say that I have done any investing with my money yet, since being a full-time college student with only a part-time income limits my options. I have, however, created a master plan, and I began writing down my goals and journaling.
And I must say, I have been so much more productive in the last month because of it. I am practicing my writing skills as well in order to give copywriting a try this year.
I also appreciate the discount on AWAI products members receive, since it makes the programs much more affordable for people like me.
I love the content I have received so far, and I am looking forward to more. Thank you, Palm Beach Letter and Mark Ford, for the knowledge I have received and will receive in the future. Club member CXL.
The service and advice you are giving is invaluable. As a long-time entrepreneur with many failures under my belt, it is good to have someone validate that having your own business is the most likely road to personal financial freedom. Club member John D.
I am looking at everything you’re laying out there for the members, and taking it all in is a job—quite a job!
Why is it so demanding? Because you are offering so much it’s almost unbelievable! When I see the questions/comments and your answers, I can easily see you are really, really committed to us club members. Keep up the extraordinary work you are doing! Club member Charles M.
I joined the Wealth Builders Club and have never been so excited about a learning experience in my life. I feel compelled to respond to a letter in which another club member complains that he has received no “actionable” items.
In the past month, I have received so many actionable items that I had to take a day off and chart out a plan of attack to assimilate all the information, knowledge, and advice I have received.
If memory serves, I am currently digesting an e-book, an essay, and a hardcover book (The Pledge), in addition to maintaining my personal journal (which I have never done in my life). In your initial letters you stated that there would be a lot of information and a lot of work ahead if I really wanted to succeed. Boy! You weren’t kidding.
This journey has now become a full-blown adventure, with something new to see (and much to do) every day. Learning is fun again! Club member Mark M.
Since becoming a member of Palm Beach Wealth Builders Club I have been motivated to succeed. I have never been like this before in my life. Thank you so much Mr. Mark Ford. You are my hero! Club member Peter R.
I am thoroughly enjoying my Wealth Builders Club membership and have been putting as much of the advice as possible into practice. Mostly, I have gained the tools and motivation I need to finally move forward with concrete plans for my future.
I have been struggling with the “will I have time?” concerns, since I typically work 50-60 hour weeks in a high-stress job. Plus, we are looking at adopting teenagers out of the foster care system.
Mark’s reply is so true, though. “If you want work done, ask a busy person.” We tend to find ways to fit it in if we are challenged to. I have committed to improving my time management so that I can bring my 50- to 60-hour workweek back down to the 40-hour week that it should be. I think I may even be able to reduce my stress level, as well. Club member Heidi R.
I have seen enormous improvement over the past year or so. I have read many an investment newsletter over the years, but none has compared to what I have gained from being a subscriber to The Palm Beach Letter, the Wealth Builders Club, the Legacy Portfolio, and Palm Beach Current Income.
From the very first encounter with you, the messages resonated with me, and I knew in my soul that this was RIGHT for me and that I could trust your advice. I am watching our portfolio grow, I stay on task with comparing financial statements from one period to another, and I have learned at a pace that is very comfortable for me.
Despite being very disciplined financially (no debt, living comfortably beneath our means, having a business that is both profitable and satisfying), investing has had its ups and downs over the years. For the first time, I am comfortable with the conservative and disciplined approach to growing our savings and investments.
I still have to do better with managing fear when markets are tumbling. I am doing better with that and find that when this happens, if I go through the portfolio one asset at a time and remind myself why we own it, and think through are those reasons still applicable today, I can calm my fears.
It also helps when I read those little reminders in the newsletters, so please keep those coming. I still need the coaching. I can only claim success because I have had great coaching from the Palm Beach subscriptions, and because my husband trusts me completely to manage our financial affairs. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me. Club member Linda H.
LEG General Questions
A: The Legacy Portfolio is an investment advisory based on the wealth-building strategies of investing legend Warren Buffett.
Each month, a team of analysts track the strongest, safest, most stable companies in the world when they’re trading at great values. We aim to hold our investments forever. And we accumulate more of these stocks whenever we can buy them at attractive prices. We never sell.
This long-term investment strategy is the easiest way for you to accumulate millions of dollars in time for retirement and—if you desire—to leave a lasting legacy for people to remember you by. Best of all, this strategy is simple to implement, low maintenance, and cost-efficient.
A: As a new subscriber, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step user guide to teach you everything you need to know to start building your Legacy Portfolio today.
A: We publish The Legacy Portfolio issues monthly. You can expect to find new stock picks, updates on our current positions, and answers to reader questions.
A: To sign up for Legacy Portfolio, please contact our friendly customer service at 888-501-2598. You can also sign up here.
PBN General Questions
A: Palm Beach Current Income is a trading service that allows you to generate income without traditional stock investing. We use an option-selling strategy that is—without a doubt—the safest, most intelligent way in existence to earn income from the stock and options market.
Specifically, this strategy involves first selling “put” options to generate immediate income. Then, as necessary, selling “call” options to generate even more income on acquired stocks.
Since its launch, Palm Beach Current Income has recorded an outstanding success rate of 97%.
The Palm Beach Current Income service is comprised of three parts:
1. Webinar Course. In our comprehensive webinar course, we teach you everything you need to know about trading options. In addition to the detailed webinars, we provide homework assignments and quizzes for you to go through to become completely comfortable with our strategy—prior to making any trades.
We strongly recommend that you complete the webinar course before you begin options trading. As seasoned options traders, we know what works and what doesn’t. And we’ve refined the course to make it as effective and easy to understand as possible.
2. Weekly Trading Service. Each week, we send you our latest options trade. But this isn’t a conventional options-trading service. One of our main goals is to educate you. We don’t just feed you a bunch of investment recommendations without any help or explanation. We teach you how to be a disciplined investor on your own.
In our weekly issues we show you how we use our tools to analyze trades. Plus we also discuss and monitor current market trends as necessary. You’ll become a better and more educated investor. And you’ll be able to use these valuable skills to create a second income from home for the rest of your life.
3. Reader Mailbag. Every weekly issue includes our Reader Mailbag section. This is one of the biggest benefits of your Palm Beach Current Income subscription. We answer your most common questions and concerns. This is yet another opportunity to learn more and get the most value out of your subscription.
A: Yes, you will need your broker’s approval to trade options. We have an entire webinar devoted to walking you through the application process. We tell you what to expect and show you a real-world example so you can start using this strategy immediately.
A: In the beginning, going through the webinars and homework assignments will take the most time. Our course can be completed in two weeks, at less than three hours per week. That includes the homework assignments, which take less than ten minutes each to complete. But how quickly you complete our course is entirely up to you.
After you finish the course, you’ll need at least 15 minutes per week to enter our trade recommendation with your broker during the stock market’s open hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. Researching and executing any trades beyond our weekly recommendation will take more time and is completely optional.
A: As with any investing strategy, it is essential that you stay diversified. This means you need to have enough money for several different positions at a time. In order to do this, we recommend a minimum of $25,000 to invest in this strategy.
A: To sign up for Palm Beach Current Income, please contact our friendly customer service at 888-501-2598. You can also sign up here.
EIO General Questions
A: It is a unique program designed to help you create a second or even a third stream of income. This program consists of two parts. The first part is a series of essays on Mark’s favorite extra-income opportunities. These will include ideas for making extra income from your current career, plus many great ideas for accessing extra income from side businesses, freelancing, investment “jobs,” and so on. The second part is a collection of corresponding companion reports and manuals—or sometimes book recommendations and websites to consult—that will explain just what you need to do to initiate any of these extra-income streams.
A: Via email. The Extra Income Project is an email-only program.
A: You will receive one Extra Income Project opportunity per month. This will give you time to review, research, and take action before receiving another opportunity.
RI General Questions
A: Bob Irish, the editor of Retirement Insider, recently retired from a long and successful career in the investment business. In Retirement Insider, Bob shares his insights on how to achieve a retirement lifestyle of freedom, flexibility, and relaxation. This series is free when you subscribe to The Palm Beach Letter at the Gold, Platinum, and Infinity levels.
Via email. Retirement Insider is an email-only essay series.
A: A new issue of Retirement Insider publishes the last Friday of every month.
CAP General Questions
A: This course was tailored specifically to take advantage of today’s undervalued property market and the upcoming boom. Regardless of your experience level, age, or net worth, this course can show you how to duplicate Justin’s success, and do so as easily and as quickly as possible.
The course is divided into three modules—Beginner, Intermediate, and Master—which allows you to move at your own pace.
Not only will you learn how to buy right… at discounts that make it nearly impossible not to make money… but you’ll also learn where to find money to finance your deal (if you need to), as well as where to find someone to help with property management.
In fact, with Justin’s C.A.P. Cash Flow, it boils down to three simple steps:
Find the right property
Find the right money
- Find the right management.
And this isn’t just dry theory. Included inside the members-only website is a handful of proprietary tools Justin has developed over the years that take the guesswork out of real estate.
A: To sign up for the C.A.P. Strategy Course, please contact our friendly customer service at 888-501-2598. You can also sign up here.
Tom's Confidential General Questions
TC – (Tom’s Confidential) Tom’s Confidential is a special research service we reserve for only a select few subscribers. Membership gives you access to Tom’s “inner circle.” This means you’re privy to the under-the-radar, dynamic investments that Tom previously shared only with his closest friends and family.
You see, because most of these companies have small market caps, Tom can’t recommend them to our entire subscribers list (currently over 70,000 people). These stocks aren’t big enough to handle all those new investment dollars. But for just a handful of subscribers, these investments can be very lucrative. Other than the potential for greater upside, Tom’s Confidential picks maintain the same strict safety requirements you’ll find in our regular Palm Beach Letter recommendations. Membership also includes access to Tom’s Community, the private forum Tom created for member discussions.
Note: Tom’s Confidential is only available to Infinity members. If you’d like to have your name added to the Infinity wait list, please click here.
In any given month, Tom and our analysts might look at 1,200 companies. Of those, they may find a dozen worth investing in. Then they’ll narrow them down to the best one for the monthly issue of The Palm Beach Letter.
The companies Tom finds are just as safe as the regular Palm Beach Letter recommendations—but they have the potential to deliver far greater returns much more quickly.
The problem is they’re often too small to recommend to a group the size of The Palm Beach Letter readership.
Because, let’s face it: When you have 50,000 readers waiting for one stock pick each month, that alone could impact the trading volume of a stock by more than five million shares.
So if Tom finds a stock with, say, a two million share float (the total number of shares available for public trading)—and only 50,000 shares traded per day, on average—well, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
But for a smaller group, no problem. In fact, it could be very lucrative.
Just to be clear: The only difference between the ultra-safe stocks recommended in The Palm Beach Letter and in Tom’s Confidential is that the stocks in Tom’s Confidential are very small…
And they have the potential to rise in value very quickly once mainstream investors catch on to them.
However, because most of these companies have small market caps, we have to limit the reader base to a select number of subscribers.
A: Tom’s Confidential is NOT published on a set schedule. In other words, he doesn’t send you a recommendation just because “it’s time.”
Hopefully the reason is obvious: You’ll hear from Tom only when he’s uncovered a true gem. One that he would buy himself because he’s virtually certain it’s a great, undiscovered company that has nowhere else to go but up. You can’t perfectly time these discoveries.
Just to be clear: Tom may go two months without a pick… and then there may be three in a week. That’s just the way it goes with these small companies.
That said, we will not ignore you. Tom makes a point to contact Tom’s Confidential subscribers regularly with any new developments on stocks we hold, updates, or progress on his research. Oftentimes, he’ll drop in at our member discussion forum—Tom’s Community—to touch base. Meanwhile, our forum editor, Kenneth, is stationed in-house and serves as a direct proxy for Tom on a daily basis.
A: Please follow all of Tom’s trading instructions precisely. For instance, if he says, “Don’t pay more than $10.53 for this stock,” please set a limit order and don’t pay more than $10.53 for the stock. Do not chase stock prices—always keep in mind these stocks don’t have lots of trading liquidity and you might have to wait a while to buy shares at great prices. That’s what sophisticated, experienced investors do.
A: Tom’s Community is a place where members hang out whenever we want.
The motto of is simple: Get together. Grow together.
We interact with each other. We discuss our portfolio and investment strategy. We talk about the markets. And we talk about stuff that has nothing to do with investing.
You can post comments and ask questions whenever you want. We will, as well. Tom will also organize live webinars—open to everyone. (For those who can’t attend, we’ll post recordings.)
It’s important to note: Tom’s Community is a new project. It is constantly evolving. We’re not sure how it’s going to work out… or if it’s even going to work at all.
We encourage members to be open minded, patient, generous with feedback, and supportive of the community. And hopefully we’ll create something valuable.
IFL Front End FAQ
A: Income for Life is a unique wealth-building strategy that uses whole life insurance as a savings vehicle for retirement… but in a way you’ll never find from any other investment firm or newsletter. Income for Life shows readers how to grow their money at up to 5% interest each year… and withdraw that money—tax-free—in retirement. The essay series includes monthly webinars, essays, and training tools to teach readers about the numerous uses of this strategy.
A: “Income for Life” is a term we’ve coined for this unique strategy that uses whole life insurance as a savings vehicle for retirement. Nelson Nash is the originator of this strategy, and he’s trademarked it with the name “Infinite Banking Concept.” There are several other names people refer to it by, as well.
A: “770 account” gets its name from the IRS code that grants these tax-free benefits to whole life insurance policies—IRS Code Section 7702. One of the major benefits of having a whole life insurance policy is that you can grow your money tax-free.
Does the Income for Life strategy work if I live outside of the U.S.? If not, what key features do I have to look for in my own country to get life insurance that works in the way your series recommends?
A: Many insurance companies around the world do offer permanent life insurance products. But so far, most companies don’t offer policy loans… or the paid-up addition (PUA) rider.
These are two components that make the Income for Life strategy so powerful.
For example, a PUA rider is a way to stuff as much money into your policy as legally possible. This way, you’re earning more interest and more dividends in your account, without increasing the amount you spend on life insurance protection. The PUA rider is one of the many tools that change an ordinary whole life insurance policy into a wealth-building machine.
Now, some mutual insurance companies based in the U.S. will allow foreigners to have such policies. But they’ll need to be in the U.S. to apply and take their medical exams.
Currently, we are only aware of this type of policy in Canada and the U.S. We’re working on putting together a checklist and some guidelines for readers who don’t live in the U.S. We’ll let you know when it’s ready.
A: A whole life policy grows tax-deferred. That means as the cash in your policy grows each year, you won’t have to pay taxes on it. That’s unlike your regular brokerage or trading account, where you pay taxes on any gains you have each year.
Now, once you’ve built enough cash in your policy, there are ways to withdraw cash without paying taxes on it. That’s unlike your 401(k) or IRA in which your money grows tax-free, but you have to pay taxes on it when you take it out in your retirement years.
A: Income for Life is applicable for a wide range of people, from newborns to retirees. But it’s impossible to answer this question without knowing more about your specific financial situation. That’s why we recommend you contact one of our experts to address any concerns. They will tell you whether or not you’ll benefit from an Income for Life policy.
A: Your age and health rating can have a big impact on your returns. Generally, the older you are and/or the unhealthier you are, the lower your overall returns will be.
But the actual “investment” returns are just one factor or benefit of dividend-paying whole life insurance. There other benefits too.
It could be helpful to you for asset protection. Or a good way to pass tax-free money on to your kids. Or it could be the vehicle you use to create a family banking system— and anyone needing money could borrow from the family’s bank to buy a car or start a business. Or maybe you want keep your cash where you know it won’t go down in value if there’s a stock market crash.
Whatever your reason, the point is this: Dividend-paying whole life insurance is a versatile, multipurpose tool. Even if you are older and not in the best of health, there are a dozen other benefits that might appeal to your specific situation.
Don’t hesitate to consult one of our Income for Life experts to see if it makes sense for your particular situation. You can find their contact information in our special report here.