According to a May 2016 article in Research magazine by Alexei Bayer, the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, accidentally leaked some 11,000 account names and numbers showing the prime minister of England, Putin of Russia, and many others as having hidden wealth in Panama bank accounts. Add to this thousands of other safe havens like Nassau, Belize, Isle of Mann and what do you have? Politicians that get in a position to know and control money do so for their own benefit. I am not even touching the Clinton Foundation or Hillary’s hidden emails.
The article further states that the real takeaway from what are being called “Panama’s Papers” is the unprecedented scale of the pilfering. Estimates put illegal pilfering at around $8 trillion in the 10 years between 2004 and 2013, which is the equivalent of India’s, Brazil’s, Germany’s and Russia’s GDP combined!
Just take Putin’s personal wealth, now estimated at close to $40 billion. High Russian government officials were found to have offshore accounts and companies. Since 2009, over $500 billion has left Russia, with outflows averaging 3 percent of the GDP a year. How can a country get ahead when their own profits are leaving them behind and taking up house elsewhere?
On a personal level, how does a person get ahead?
Here are my thoughts: Trotty Veck once said,
“There are two things a person should never worry about, that which you control, and that which you don’t.”
Since we don’t have control of these far away events, we need to focus on what we do control and that’s our own money (at least for now). Although illegal activities, greed, and pilfering from high government officials will affect and have affected economies worldwide, our own money should be our first concern. If we can’t even control that, why do we need to worry about how much of the rest of the world is out of control financially?
There are 4, and only 4 areas of personal financial management that you need to be concerned about:
- Control Spending
- Eliminate Debt
- Reduce Taxes
- Maximize Savings/Retirement Income
Each of these areas are interrelated and must work together in harmony. You cannot just focus on one while ignoring another. All must work together at the same time. Now you may not feel like you are in control of these four areas, but you can be.
For fear of being mundane, I suggest you go to www.moneymastery.com and sign up for at least the “basic” online training for just $4.95 a month. Start by completing the “7 Steps to Money Mastery” online training course (short and simple and gets you on track within two weeks) and then assess where you are at with these 4 areas of spending, debt, taxes and retirement. You will be amazed at how quickly you can take charge of your personal life and finances, right now. In addition to the control you will begin to feel, you will also get on the road to quickly securing an emergency fund, have money for fun, and start eliminating all debt so you can be debt-free in 10 years (yes, I said 10 years or less and that includes your mortgage, regardless of how much debt you have).
Call me with questions, I will be happy to discuss at no charge: (801) 292-1099.