Investment Strategy Comparator (IC)
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The IC accurately compares 27 of the most-common methods of investing apples-to-apples with each other. The purpose is to analyze the long-term effects of the investing strategies people actually use in the Real World, accounting for costs, basis, tax, and all other details.
The basic concept is that (except for the bank CDs and annuities) the exact same underlying investments are invested in, and then the only differences in the investment strategies are the methods of buying, holding, trading, taxing, and liquidating them.
You can get bottom line answers to most investment strategy questions, when you can see how money really works in detail over the long-term.
This way, you can see the differences all of the "packaging wrappers" make.
This is what Wall Street is about in a nutshell - it's just people on trying to make more money by boxing up the same underlying investments (e.g., stocks) in a different package, and then offering them in different fee-, expense-, and tax-wrappers; just to get different groups of people to buy more of the same 'ol things.
The eight product packages are the types of securities listed below and the three tax wrappers are: Non-qualified (no tax wrapper), traditional IRA, and Roth.
With the Investment Comparator, now these different investor groups can see if the packaging and wrappers are really working out as advertised and expected.
As the IC results show, sure you may end up paying less in taxes, but you'll also run out of money much sooner too compared to better and more efficient ways of investing.
For example, life insurance agents like to say Variable Universal Life insurance products will allow you to retire with earlier with more money because you can take tax-free loans instead of withdrawals, and almost never pay any taxes.
The bottom line here, using actual facts, logic, and math for the first time; is that the interest the policy charges you for loaning money to yourself will usually be more than the total tax savings in a couple of years. This is because it's just deducted from the cash value - more and more every day (whereas tax savings don't change).
So if you never pay back your loans, your money will run out about a third faster, in most cases, compared to better Methods of investing for retirement income.
There's no having your cake and eating it too, especially when Wall Street and life insurance company actuaries employ the smartest "financial rocket scientists" to ensure the deck is always stacked against you, and the house never loses.
Now you can see for yourself how traditional wisdom, what you've known for decades, and common knowledge everyone just takes for granted, have been all wrong.
This is because nobody "bothered" to make software that properly analyzes investment strategies before.
Why all of the usual "tax wrappers" (IRAs, Roth IRAs, 529 plans, and all forms of annuities and all forms of whole life insurance) have around half of the value they did back in the "good 'ol days," is explained in the directions.
With this investment strategy analyzer, you won't have to believe everything you read; nor take anyone's word about things like: ETFs are the most efficient and inexpensive way to invest, there's no sales charges on mutual fund B-shares if you don't sell them, Roth IRAs are better than traditional IRA / 401(k)s, or the tax benefits of 529 plans, whole life (VUL), or any kind of annuity will make up for the huge costs; lack of liquidity / choices / control, etc.
None of that is true, and now can be proven!
The proof is finally in the numbers, flow so well and are so transparent, that anyone can figure out what's really going on (by reading the directions).
This is a must-have investment calculator for Fee-Based financial advisors that compete with commission-based advisers and life insurance agents.
All you'll need to do is run the numbers, comparing the difference between your investor strategies and what they want to do, and you'll win almost every time.
With all of the manual overrides, you can also model most any investment strategy you can think of.
This is also a financial tool that will allow you to write fascinating articles in the financial press about:
• Which method of investing is best compared to others.
• How and why Roth IRAs and life insurance company products are not as "good" as touted.
• How much more money you'll have by investing in tax-qualified plans (IRAs) or how much you'd need to invest if you don't use them.
• The short- and long-term impact of investment fees, commissions, tickets, and other expenses.
• The short- and long-term impact of trading stocks and ETFs.
• The short- and long-term impact of taxes.
• How much more money you'd need to invest in one way of investing to keep up with another method.
• A large table showing everything together with 35 charts.
• And much more.
With this money calculator you can also rebut press articles written weekly, because everyone is just guessing using the same tired "myths and old wives tales."
The reason they've been able to get away with it all for decades is because there was never any money tool to fact-check their stories until now.
You'll have the financial software that will give you actual numbers to write up fact-based conclusions. If you scoured the web, on average there's a new article every other day just spewing the same old incorrect conclusions (and when you add the always wrong conclusions about when it's best to start collecting Social Security benefits, it's daily).
So if you like getting attention by writing financial articles, this money tool is your dream come true.
Usually with simple input, you can see the short- and long-term differences of all of the following methods of investing:
• Tax-Qualified No-Load Mutual Fund
• Tax-Qualified A-Share Mutual Fund
• Tax-Qualified B-Share Mutual Fund
• Tax-Qualified C-Share Mutual Fund
• Tax-Qualified ETF
• Tax-Qualified Individual Securities in a Brokerage Account
• Tax-Qualified VA
• Tax-Qualified Bank CD
• Roth IRA No-Load Mutual Fund
• Roth IRA A-Share Mutual Fund
• Roth IRA B-Share Mutual Fund
• Roth IRA C-Share Mutual Fund
• Roth ETF
• Roth IRA Individual Securities in a Brokerage Account
• Roth VA
• Roth Bank CD
• Non-Qualified No-Load Mutual Fund
• Non-Qualified A-Share Mutual Fund
• Non-Qualified B-Share Mutual Fund
• Non-Qualified C-Share Mutual Fund
• Non-Qualified ETF
• Non-Qualified Individual Securities in a Brokerage Account
• Non-Qualified VA
• Non-Qualified Bank CD
• Employer Matching 401(k) or 403(b)
• Fixed Annuity
• And with proper use of the input fields, directions, and manual overrides, you can compare almost anything to anything, with unprecedented accuracy. No more guessing when it comes to making critical long-term investing decisions.
These money calculators also show all of the mutual fund and brokerage account loads / commissions / fees / tickets / expenses as an annual percentage of both the money invested, and also the end-of-year market values.
In other words, the total costs of each of these different ways to invest over time, both in dollars and percentages.
You can select and control every way of accounting for fees and expenses - tickets, wraps, commissions, etc., and you can manually override everything for maximum flexibility.
It has 35 graphs that show all of the presentation results graphically.
The goal of this financial spreadsheet is simple: See through the different marketing packaging and tax wrappers and get to the actual bottom-line truth in investing.
Finally, somebody made investment software so you can estimate what the long-term results of investing a certain way will be. No more hoping that the nebulous promises made by the financial services industry will come true. You'll be able to see for yourself, and then will be able to make informed decisions so you can invest in the manner that's right for you.
Nobody has ever even attempted to do this right before. Why? First, it's just too hard to properly account for the details; like tax basis, fees, commissions, multiple tax rates at the same time (capital gains, ordinary income rates, and dividend rates all before and after retirement), withdrawals, contributions, etc.
Next, using "code programming" would be a monumental effort that would take the usual software engineer, working with the usual financial expert, directed by the usual marketer, over a year to program. So the cost of the usual (non-Excel) way of coding this financial software would be over $100,000.
Then when they try to market it, they'd find they're just going to be making their usual customers mad - financial planners and life insurance agents that live or die by overselling life insurance company products, ETFs, and B- and C-mutual fund shares.
So when they see the difficulty and cost of making the money tools, then add the difficulty and lack of profit of selling it, they just say no. Why would you do all of that with something that's not going to make any money, and even worse, make you lose money? Forget that, let's just keep doing what's always worked best for us over the past half century.
The problem is that whole life insurance almost never beats term life insurance compared to investing the difference in mutual funds, even after the tax-sheltering benefits. The same is true for ALL life insurance company products - including all forms of annuities. Why? There's several reasons, but the most important are:
1) Most all subaccounts (the mutual fund-like investment vehicles one actually invests in) have pathetic long-term performance, not enough asset class choices, high fees and expenses, and poor diversification. This major drag on performance is what is NOT accounted for in the program. So in addition to the inefficient packaging, you'll also more than likely get much less total return when investing in life insurance company subaccounts, compared to mutual fund investing.
So if you modeled these lower returns, their results would be much worse.
With this financial strategy software, you can also see what the minimum rate of return needs to be on a normal investment portfolio to get the same or more lifetime income than a fixed or variable annuity would provide.
You'd just input what you paid and the annuitized payout, and then lower the rate of return on the other investments until the portfolio lasts until an advanced age (e.g., 105).
2) For fixed annuities (and whole life insurance), after deducting the massive initial commissions, fees, and expenses, the interest rates are unbelievably low. They may seem high when the agent says, "You'll get X% guaranteed!" But that's only applied to the amount of money that's left over after commissions, expenses, and fees are initially deducted. Your actual yield when compared to the gross amount of money invested is usually half this quoted amount.
3) Most all life insurance company products have "layers of fees on top of commissions on top of fees on top of expenses on top of even more fees." When you add them all up, they're several times higher than even loaded mutual funds, and dozens of times more than with no-load mutual funds.
4) The whole life insurance company business model is based on maximizing profits for their shareholders, and agents, not policyholders (you). How else do you think they grew up to be "too big to fail," can afford billions in TV ads, and have huge gold-plated ivory-tower offices fully-staffed with expensive employees? Unless you die way before your time, are a shareholder in life company stock, or are an agent that has a way to drum up a lot of easy business, then this whole thing is just a very bad deal.
Next, big financial planning software vendors are able to barely survive just because they've had large infusions of capital from the life insurance industry. So they don't want you to know the truth about investing strategies.
The old Black Hat way is how they stay in business. The Internet changed all of that, and there's no going back, which is one of the reasons why AIG in '09 was "too big to fail" and had to be bailed out with $182 BILLION (or 92% ownership) of taxpayer dollars.
Last but not least, Roth IRAs are definitely not what they're all cracked up to be. The long-term results using traditional IRAs are usually better. The reason everyone says Roth IRAs are the best invention since the wheel, is because nobody has ever done a proper apples-to-apples comparison that accounts for all of the details. Plus touting them is probably how they make their money. But, the lower returns may be worth it, considering there's never taxes to fuss with.
There are several financial spreadsheets like this on the market, but they're mostly distributed by life insurance companies (for free), which means they don't account for any of the details, and thus are heavily biased toward selling their products.
The more details you account for properly (especially basis with non-qualified mutual funds), the less attractive life insurance company products become. When you account for ALL of the details, then it's a total no-brainer.
This financial spreadsheet will account for EVERY detail. If it doesn't, then you can easily use the manual overrides to account for anything you want to. Not only that, it's so transparent that anyone can track every number down to see where it came from. The details that explain everything are in the directions.
Please note that all of this is NOT saying you shouldn't invest - it's saying that you'll most always do better by doing-it-yourself (AKA DIY) using no-load mutual funds, or by hiring a fee-only financial advisor (instead of a commission-based life insurance agent).
To download a demo, right click on a link below, and then choose "Save (Target) As..." to save to your hard drive. Then find it and open with Excel.
Be sure to see the sheet that shows what colors should look like.
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