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Investments for the Rest of Us: The best investment you can make in your future has nothing to do with money

By David F. Brochu
Last week, Ben "I never meet a crisis that couldn't be solved with easy money" Bernanke stated that our economy is expanding very slowly and is still in need of the Federal Reserve's ministrations. To the only question Wall Street cares about, "Will he or won't he," Ben provided a welcome, you betch'a.
Especially happy were the CEOs of the country's biggest banks. Having used all that money creation to strengthen their balance sheets, record bonuses were just announced, to the tune of $17 billion. Without Uncle Ben, how would they pay for the salary increases and fat bonuses? They'd already used the money that was intended to be leant into the economy; and laid off just about a million people.
The President and Congress must not have been paying attention. To see them all in a tizzy over $85 billion in budget cuts when all they need to do is call Bennie at the Fed and ask him to skip the bond buying for one month so they can borrow the money, breaks my heart. They really need to communicate better.
This sequester thing that has everybody all worked up adds up to less than 3 percent of the budget – one month of bond buying by the Fed. It will hit harder than that because all of the cuts coming from the discretionary portion of the federal budget, about $800 billion out of $4 trillion. But let's be real: who cuts their budget by 3 percent anyway? When I have had to cut, it's been by a lot more than that.
Here's how it goes in the real world: "Honey, we have $100,000 in annual living expenses and $70,000 in income from my new job. We need to do something." "Well, my love, it looks like you either have to make more money or we need to cut $30,000, or 30 percent, from our spending. OK, baby, where do we start?"
How many conversations like this have taken place — and are taking place — all across this country right now? If I had my way, I would take each of our political leaders, from the President and his cabinet to every member of Congress, and make them live on the median income of their congressional district, state, department or country until they realized how their actions affect people.
While I dream, Ben Bernanke and the heads of the banks need to be arrested and put on trial for treason. Add Tim Geithner to the list while we're at it. Together, these men (and they're all men, I'm ashamed to note) have sold us and our progeny into bondage for decades to come. They have systematically destroyed America's currency and with it our place of leadership in the world. All the while, they've enriched themselves at the expense of millions upon millions of regular people.
Too harsh? What else can we call the appropriation of trillions of taxpayer dollars funneled onto a broken system, year after year, knowing full well that almost none of it went to its intended recipients?
What do we call a person who sells the people he is supposed represent, into bondage and then adds their children to the note?
What else can we call a group of elected officials playing football with people's lives and well being by refusing to grow up and do their jobs?
How do we accept men and woman who yell fire in a crowded theater full of everyday people beaten down by a system that increasingly serves very few at the expense of the many?
Not so long ago, we would have called them tyrants.
If you want to take control of your financial life, start by taking control of your life. The next time you have a chance to vote, vote out all of the incumbents, everyone single one. We need new representatives that remember why they are there in the first place.
It is time to wake up America and take control of our birthright. America belongs to the People. It is time we remind Washington of that fact. Get on the phone, write, email or use a carrier pigeon. Tell Congress and the President to balance our budget now, not in ten years. Bombard the Fed with demands that they stop mortgaging our future. Let them know that we, the people, will get behind them if they lead. And if they don't want to lead, then they need to get the hell out of the way.
There's no better investment you can make.

David F. Brochu, CFP, is president and CEO of KLEOSSUM advisers, an independent investment advisory firm for individuals and group retirement plans located in Tech Village in Conway. For more information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , call (603) 733-4290, or visit online at www.KLEOSSUM.com.
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