Rathbun: New Year’s ResolutionsWritten by Gary Rathbun | | GaryRathbun@PrivateWealthConsultants.com
Fear not! I am not going to devote a column to writing down personal resolutions that will not only bore you, and me, but also put on record what I want to do next year in my personal life so my readers will hold me accountable. The last thing I need is an email reminding me to work out more or keep my desk cleaner.
Probably the most important resolution I can make and encourage you to make for 2013 is to not participate in the next recession.
I have spent enough time expressing my views on the “fiscal cliff” and the consequences of Congress doing nothing by the end of the year, so I won’t ride that horse again. In 2013 the economy will very likely go into a recession regardless of Congressional action. I will simply not participate in it. In fact, I will probably contribute to the depth of a recession by spending less and saving more.
In the next year I will not have any consumer debt and will advise my clients to do the same. That is not to say I will not borrow any money, I certainly will. But I will only borrow for business ventures or appreciable assets, not for consumables or depreciating assets.
In 2013 I will be very aggressive at minimizing my taxes and the taxes of my clients. I have read many times lately that revenue is not the problem for the government yet spending is out of hand. I have discussed that several times both on the radio and in various writings. The real problem is neither revenue nor spending. Rather, it’s an electorate that puts ignorant people in positions of power and demands ever increasing entitlements from those people. I will do all I can to legally reduce my funding of those entitlements.
In 2013 we have to toughen ourselves both physically and mentally and reduce the influence of and dependence on outside forces, i.e. government. In his new book, “Antifragile,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about Americans becoming more and more fragile in all aspects of their life and looking to government to provide the safety net in case anything bad or unexpected happens to them. He says:
“…depriving these systems of volatility, randomness, and stressors will harm them. They will weaken, die, or blow up. We have been fragilizing the economy, our health, political life, education, almost everything by suppressing randomness and volatility.
“…everything bottom-up thrives under the right amount of stress and disorder.”
That certainly is not to say that we should give up modern conveniences. I won’t. But reality is that we should not avoid the work and stressors that will enable us to create, innovate and produce what is needed in our lives.
We need to embrace uncertainty and challenge ourselves to become less fragile when life happens. I know Mother Nature can be a harsh mistress sometimes but every storm that comes up and destroys something should not be met with cries to Congress to kiss it and make it all better and make sure it never happens again. Rather it should be an opportunity to work and prosper, to help ourselves and to make the choice to help others.
We should also resolve to toughen ourselves financially as well. The Federal Reserve will continue to weaken our currency as will all the other central bankers of the world and there is nothing we can presently do to prevent that from happening. Increasing hard assets and finding the opportunities worldwide to take advantage of these actions is tantamount to thriving in the New Year.
There are many more steps that you can take next year to protect your finances. Those will be outlined in upcoming columns and public seminars.
2013 will be what we make it and I expect to make it a great year!
In conclusion, I will share one personal resolution that I intend to accomplish next year. I hereby resolve to give up Twinkies for at least the first six months of 2013. Feel free to hold me accountable to that one.
Gary L. Rathbun is the president and CEO of Private Wealth Consultants, LTD. He can be heard every day on 1370 WSPD at 4:06 on After the Bell, every day on the Afternoon Drive, and every Wednesday and Thursday evening at 6 p.m. throughout Northern Ohio on Eye on Your Money. He can be reached at (419) 842-0334 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org