Running On the Hamster Wheel….


The Hamster Wheel

Albert Einstein said…“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

On a hamster wheel, it doesn’t matter how fast a hamster runs because it always ends up in the same place… right where it started. If one resourceful hamster could find a way to step off the wheel and let it run by itself, he would be the mightiest hamster in the horde (I didn’t realize a group of hamsters was called a horde until I Googled it).
I use a hamster wheel analogy since I believe what our culture has become is a horde of faster hamsters, we run faster (work harder) to stay in the same place. The hard workers, the accumulators do what they have been taught to always do; accumulate wealth the old fashioned way-by trading hours for dollars. It is the same thought process our parents used, and their parents used. It compels us to work 10 to 12 hour days and some weekends so that someday there will be enough resources to suddenly stop…. and then really start living. We are advised that when we retire the ideal plan is to live on less money each year so we can fall into a lower tax bracket. Think about that.. the mainstream tells us to plan on having less money in retirement so you can save on taxes??? This is the time of life when you want and need more money not less. Scary thing is nobody knows what the tax rates will be when it’s time to pay that deferred tax bill.

Why is the majority of the wealth in this country controlled by such a small percentage of the population; a population that has the time and the money right now to enjoy life the way they want to. The problem is the majority of people in this country are taught to play a winless, risky market game created by the same people that created the hamster wheel. It’s time to learn how to stop running and step off. Our society is one of the hardest working cultures in the world. We feel the need to be overly productive so we can provide for our families. We may also be driven to keep up with (or pass) the Joneses. Working these long hours we take for granted the amount of life we have left. I think Harry Chapin’s song “Cats in the Cradle” sums it up perfectly.

As we earn more dollars we face the psychological dilemma called Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states, and I’m paraphrasing, that expenses always rise to meet incomes. As we move through life our incomes rise, we buy bigger houses, drive nicer cars, and dine at better restaurants. We haven’t gained more free time but in reality have less. We haven’t saved more, just obligated ourselves through debt to work longer. The scenario is all too common from the middle class right through to the high earners. This is a hamster wheel in motion. The problem is apparent, the answer is simple. As soon as you learn how to be most efficient in spending and saving the sooner you can lower debt, accumulate more money and finally become financially “free”. Now when I say “efficient in spending” I’m not implying that you hunker down in your home, don’t go out to eat or stop taking vacations; what I mean is there is an efficient strategy that uses 100 year-old tax code to have all the dollars you earn from today forward doing “double duty.” In other words all of your money continues to earn interest while at the same time you are using it to fund retirement, college expenses, a new car, buying or starting a business, or any expense we would typically use credit cards or go to a bank for. This process is what the wealthiest in country have been doing for decades. It’s a game where the rules are clear, constant, and concise. Once you learn the rules you will not only create significant wealth for yourself but also build exponential family wealth for generations to come. My name is Dave Belisle. I am a financial coach, a strategist. To better understand what I do think about what a financial planner does….that’s not my approach. I show people how to use money versus the typical “invest and hold” advice. I would like to invite you, a select group of readers to a contrarian, out-of-the-box journey of ideas. My hope is that the next few months will provide you insight into misconceptions that are significantly eroding your wealth, wealth you’re losing without even realizing it. The majority are losing tens of thousands of dollars every year doing what they believe is right. We’ll cover banking, national debt, taxes, expose the hidden dangers of the 401k (and why the government loves this plan), how financing automobiles the correct way can generate more retirement income than you could save in a lifetime, and how paying for your house the wrong way can be one of the biggest financial blunders of your lifetime. In the next issue we’ll discuss the most elusive area of lost wealth…opportunity cost. I’m really looking forward to your ongoing comments and thoughts. Please feel free to contact me at or call toll free at 888-615-0154.

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Until next time, Dave Belisle

Our parents told us we should always share so……

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