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Bank on Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future Hardcover – March 24, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593154968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593154967
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


T. Harv Eker, author, N. Y. Times #1 best seller, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
"If you’re looking for more of the same conventional financial advice, this isn’t the book for you. But if you’re prepared to take back control of your financial life once and for all, Bank On Yourself is a ground-breaking method that can put you on the fast track to reaching your goals and dreams."

Mark Victor Hansen, co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul series
"This book reveals a unique, powerful and time-tested method that can guarantee your financial security and peace of mind now and in the years to come."

About the Author

As a consultant to financial advisors for two decades, Pamela Yellen investigated hundreds of saving, investing, and financial planning methods and vehicles before learning about Bank On Yourself. She ultimately became convinced that Americans have been brainwashed into believing they must accept risk, volatility, and unpredictability in order to grow a sizable nest-egg. It became Pamela's mission to share the message of Bank On Yourself. Read it today and discover how to have the financial peace of mind you seek and deserve.

Customer Reviews

The book was such an easy read and very informative.
Vivien Adao
Bank On Yourself is a book that will start you on the road to financial freedom and make you feel better about where your money is and what it is doing for you!
W. Spencer
The book is just one giant sales pitch which mostly consists of one repetitive... repetitive... repetitive... feel-good story.
Stephen T. Rehrmann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

309 of 328 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on May 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I agree with all the reviews that criticize this book for its anecdotal, infomercial tone- the writing is more irritating than informative, and I was annoyed by all the come-ons that insist only the author's website and stable of very special "Certified Advisors" can construct such an insurance policy for you. If it's really so old and established, surely a fee-only, non-commissioned insurance broker, lawyer or other third-party professional could help you construct your own plan and not be confounded by the concepts in this book (as the author claims). For $15, I expect that I am paying for solid information I can use, not a drawn-out advertisement. Thank goodness I checked it out of the library first. It gets three stars for presenting an interesting financial tool, but gets docked 2 stars for the bad presentation and shameless self-promotion. But here is the plan boiled down, as best I understand it (and I'm no financial whiz- if this is totally wrong, someone correct me):

You take out a whole life insurance policy with a mutual/ participating insurance company (this means you are automatically a shareholder in the company as well as a policyholder, as opposed to insuring with a commercial, publicly-traded company in which you only own your policy and have no stake in the company unless you also buy stock- kind of like a credit union vs a bank, so you receive dividends on the cash value of your policy). Your policy allows flexible paid-up additions riders (PUAR) to be paid in addition to your premiums, up to the IRS limit per year. Your policy also must allow non-recognition loans, so that you can tap your cash value for policy loans without sacrificing the dividends paid on the total cash value of the policy (including the amount you took out on a loan).
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Chas on November 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suspect the four and five star ratings are for the principle, not for this particular book. The entire book is a marketing ploy, and advertisement and sales tactic for the author's company. The essence of concept could have been written in two pages, but then, a person would not be able to sell that as a book...
This is a pretty complicated and controversial topic. I have a background in investments, formerly licensed to sell securities, etc. Proponents of this often recommend multiple policies, with premiums of thousands of dollars a month. I'm not convinced that they couldn't be doing better by conservatively investing in something else and having some term insurance, although I can see the value of permanent insurance as well. Nevertheless, paying thousands a month on whole life insurance, a person could have $20,000 or more in cash at the end of a year at that rate, and pay for things up front. Obviously you are paying for the insurance coverage, which is great if you need it, but I can't comprehend buying more than you need.
As I said, the more you investigate, the more confusing you will find it. I was in the actuarial profession for a decade, although not life insurance, but I can assure you it is not as simplistic as people would have you believe. I have tried to dig deeply into the numbers. Again, my suspicion is that some people don't understand it. The jury is still out for me as I continue to research.
It would appear this book is based completely on the Infinite Banking by Nelson Nash. I haven't read it, but would start with that book first next time, plus do some internet research.
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139 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Tsquish on May 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Others may say this is hype and an infomercial but in reality it is a different way of looking at how money works. You have to get over the fact that this is a whole life insurance policy. When you really look at whole life insurance without its name (one of my good friends sales used cars that doesn't make him a bad person) it is not so bad.

The book points out we finance everything either we pay interest to others or we give up interest on our money to an institution (ie banks). I have done this with an advisor and know others who have as well and there are no complaints (try surveying people that have been in the market for the last ten years and see if they ALL are happy with thier decision). The key here is that your money is always working for you and how the insurance company treats your loan seperate from your account.

-So if your cash value = $50,000 and you took out a $20,000 loan for a car the company still gives you dividends on the $50,000 and charges your loan the going interest rate.

-So first off you are being credited interest on $50,000 instead of $30,000 like a bank.
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More About the Author

Financial security expert, Pamela Yellen, is founder and President of Bank On Yourself.

Pamela has worked with over 40,000 financial advisors since 1990, helping them build their businesses. Over the course of those years, she investigated over 450 financial products, tools, concepts and methods that were touted as sure bets for growing wealth. Most turned out to be not even worth the paper they were printed on. All this learning the hard way came at a costly financial and emotional price.

Disappointed with the results they were getting when managing their investment program themselves, Pamela and her husband Larry hired three of the country's top investment and planning firms in succession over a period of a decade to manage their retirement account.

These companies were always on the lists of the country's top-ten financial advisors and asset managers. They all charged hefty fees and all three of them lost Pamela and Larry money during a period that included the longest-running bull market in history!

"I began to wonder whether a blindfolded monkey throwing darts could have done as well, or better. My husband, Larry, and I would be in the same boat as so many Americans today--wondering if we'd ever be able to retire, and what we'd have to go without to do it--had we not finally stumbled across Bank On Yourself, which puts a unique twist on a safe and proven financial asset that's grown in value every year for more than 160 years. More than 500,000 families already use it."

The Bank On Yourself method lets you grow your wealth every single year--even when the markets are tumbling. It also lets you bypass banks and other financial institutions and become your own source of financing for your cars, vacations, a college education, business expenses and more. This method of making major purchases even beats directly paying cash, because your money continues growing as though you had never taken it out.

The Bank On Yourself concept can provide a cash cushion and peace of mind to help you weather unexpected medical expenses, disability, job loss, or other emergencies. You don't have to fill out any prying credit applications. You can skip some payments on your loans and no one is going to make intimidating phone calls, repossess your things, or foreclose on you. No late fees and no black marks on your credit report.

Pamela has been interviewed on every major TV and radio network and has written numerous articles and been featured in thousands of publications and websites, including Fox News, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, AARP, the Associated Press, Aging today and many others. She is a professional speaker who has addressed more than 1,000 audiences throughout the US, Canada, Asia and Europe.

Her latest book, The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future, is a New York Times best-seller. Her first book, Bank On Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future, is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal,, USA Today and Business Week bestseller. Pamela has also co-authored several books, including Zero-Resistance Selling, which she co-authored with Maxwell Maltz, M.D., author of the best-seller Psycho-Cybernetics (more than 30 million copies sold worldwide).

Pamela was born in Buffalo, New York, and has lived in Sarasota, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay area. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in psychology. Pamela and her husband Larry currently live outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. They enjoy theatre and the arts, hiking, bird watching, traveling, gourmet cooking, working out (Pamela can leg press 200 pounds!), reading, spoiling their two grandkids, and are involved in supporting numerous charitable causes.

Ten percent of all author royalties are donated to educational not-for-profits, such as The Smile Train, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Nature Conservancy, Heifer International and Hawk Watch.

For more information, visit