Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Becoming Your Own Banker: Unlock the Infinite Banking Concept
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on October 30, 2012
As a Financial Advisor and a Business Consultant for over 20-years, I'm generally quite "skeptical" about (so-called) NEW concepts - particularly those that tend to quarrel with my own long held views.

However, having read this book ("BECOMING YOUR OWN BANKER" - based on the IBC - 'Infinite Banking Concept'), many times now (I needed to, before it finally "sunk in") - and having read and studied at least ten "other" excellent books on Nelson Nash's (IBC) concept - and also having found "numerous endorsements" given IBC from highly credentialed experts (economists, CPAs, MBAs, company CEOs, etc) - I must say I am now extremely impressed with, and grateful for, the (little known) revelations in the book.

DISCLOSURE - I wish to disclose up front that I do "not" personally market this (IBC) financial vehicle (which enables you to set up your OWN "Private Banking System") - nor do I receive "any" remuneration or financial compensation whatsoever for recommending it, or referring people to those advisors who are directly involved with it. What follows is unbiased and completely independent.

First, a few of my own comments ...

OPEN MIND - Financial ideas that worked in the past may not be working today. If your knowledge about money turned out to be wrong, wouldn't you like to know about it? The concept laid out in this book is a "new" paradigm for most of us. It may go "against" conventional wisdom on the money concepts that are being taught today. So, allowing yourself to make mental shifts in your thinking will greatly increase your chances for financial success in future.

REALITY - For years, too many North Americans have been led down the wrong financial path. Even worse, many Baby Boomers find themselves panicking -fearful that they've already fallen too far behind to ever catch up. In my opinion, this eye-opening book ("Becoming Your Own Banker") provides a fresh new pathway to reaching financial security - a pathway that all of us need to consider seriously.

FINANCIAL EDUCATION - I am a big believer in "financial education" - gaining the correct knowledge about money management, personal finance and building wealth. This book will help you in that endeavor. As indicated above, you need to have an "open mind" and be "willing to learn" to understand this book - to succeed financially in life. Financial intelligence - especially in these grim economic times - has never been more important. And "taking control" of your OWN personal finances has become imperative in order to have a secure financial future.

As always, I recommend you do your own research, because young or old, our own efforts towards this education is where our fight must originate. However, learning how the world works financially, according to this manner of thinking (in the book), is a "different type" of education - it's not earned in the classroom. In fact, this type of education is an individual endeavor, where each one of us must decide "when" we really want to take it up in earnest, and "when" to consider implementing it's teachings.

The following summary is designed to assist you with a basic understanding of the concept ...

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THE BOOK - This book is not about "getting rich quick". It talks about emulating the entities that contain all the wealth in the world -- the BANKS. This is a big deal because, with the concept put forward in this book, now YOU can - "leverage" TAX DEFERRED growth" (and tax write-offs) - you can BORROW from yourself - you can "pay interest to YOURSELF" - you can see (and enjoy) "the power of COMPOUNDED GROWTH" over time.

This strategy is very powerful, and it is how the RICH preserve real WEALTH through the generations. It teaches a strategy that reveals the "truth" about money.

The principles taught in this book have actually been around for "hundreds of years", but few are aware of it. Best-selling author and economist, Nelson Nash, shows you how to take CONTROL of your own financial affairs so that you can have complete FREEDOM with your money - "regardless" of the ups and downs of the economy or the market.

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BANKING - The book makes clear what we already know - that BANKS exist to "make a profit" - from YOUR money. Your own financial health comes second to branch profit margins and stock holder dividends - and that's IF the bank cares at all. Along with credit card companies, credit unions, finance companies, and car dealerships, banks make huge chunks of money off of us by the "volume of money" we continue to finance.

INTEREST - Taking out a mortgage, or financing a car purchase, is going to often double (or triple) the COST of your house or car in the long run, because of the "interest" you pay to banks. The problem is that most people are 'stuck' using banks for financing. Most people don't have $15,000 sitting around to buy a decent used car, let alone twice that for a new car, or twenty-five times that for a new home. You can't go four-ten years without a car, or home, to save up the needed cash - that isn't practical.

MONEY FLOW - The book teaches that MONEY FLOW is a key concept. It is either flowing "toward" you or "away" from you - there is no standing still. This is why they call money - "currency". Remember that if you pay CASH for a car then you "lose" the earning potential (INTEREST on) of that money. Likewise, if you FINANCE it (borrow) then you "pay" that interest to the bank. In both scenarios, the money flows "away" from you (a wealth transfer). The 'Infinite Banking Concept' described in the book will show you how to totally "eliminate" this problem.

Example - Most people focus on the "interest rate", without truly thinking about the "volume of interest" paid. Suppose you were going to buy a house for "$350,000", at 6% interest, over 30 years. You'll end up paying more than "twice" your original cost - roughly "$750,000!" over that period. The bank "loves" that! Here is the kicker - let's suppose you want to sell the house 10 years in - you'll "still owe" them well over half the original cost of your home - the bank knows this! :>)

DOUBLE DUTY - What is quite amazing about "borrowing" from your OWN Private Banking System (for major purchases, like cars, vacations, home improvements, equipment, etc) is this -- even after you "borrow" that money out, your capital "keeps on growing" -- just as though all the money was "still in there" (as though you had not even taken it out of your PBS)!

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VOLUME - The book's author infers that, on average, about "35%" of every dollar goes to INTEREST in some form or another! Thus, you need to focus on the "VOLUME of interest" and not the "interest RATE". Think about this - what if you could have purchased that house with your OWN "savings" and paid the interest back to YOURSELF, instead of the bank?

Putting it another way, on average, North Americans PAY "35" Cents of every dollar to INTEREST - while only SAVING "5-10" Cents of every dollar for themselves. We pay so much attention to how much interest we are earning on that "5-10" Cents (our savings & investments), that if we just looked at how much money is LOST from the interest charges, we could gain SO much more financial ground.

Again, like everyone else, you're "paying the bank" a huge chunk of your income, year after year - in INTEREST charges - especially when you look at that VOLUME of interest paid out (it's staggering)!

RECAPTURE - Nelson Nash describes exactly how to "recapture" this lost potential - for YOURSELF - by becoming your OWN banker. Instead of using the COMMERCIAL bank to finance your purchases, you use your own PERSONAL bank (the PBS - "Private Banking System").

Becoming your OWN banker allows you to finance your purchases so that you are paying the interest charges to YOUR banking system and growing your OWN family bank. Over time, this can become a "huge" financial wealth building vehicle for you, leading eventually to a (tax free) RETIREMENT income as well, should you choose. However, it's being "open" to the idea, and having an understanding of the "process", that makes this strategy such a powerful one.

SELF-FINANCING - It is very important to note a KEY "distinction" here. Creating your own PBS (Private Banking System) is not about "saving & investing" - NO, it is about using a proven financial tool for the "financing" (SELF-financing) of major purchases you make during your lifetime, from your OWN bank (-vs- the corner bank). Over time, this creates a large, growing (predictable, and totally risk-free) CAPITAL FUND for you - one that you can absolutely "depend" on (it's contractually guaranteed) - one which can greatly expand your net worth position and build real WEALTH for your future.

Here's how it works ...

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The FINANCIAL VEHICLE - First, you build, and control, your OWN BANK (PBS) through little known ("specially designed") participating, dividend paying, high cash value, PERMANENT life insurance policies (not TERM insurance). YES, that's right - and it becomes a "turbo-charged" financial tool, when properly selected. And these special IBC contracts are contractually "guaranteed" - issued only by "mutual" life companies (not "stock" life insurance companies). Not all life insurance companies make these (IBC) contracts available - in fact, only a very few do.

In the USA, I believe there might be about a dozen companies (out of hundreds) that offer this IBC contract. In Canada, I could only find one (1) company who makes this IBC contract available (practically all Canadian life companies have now "de-mutualized" to become "stock" companies, owned by the shareholders - "not" the policyholders, as is the case with "mutual" life companies).

Further, these unique policies are marketed only by "specially trained" IBC ('Infinite Banking Concept') advisors, who are completely schooled in Nash's IBC requirements. It is very important to understand this, and to appreciate that these policies are "not" the typical WL policies sold by traditional "life insurance agents". Instead, these IBC, high, early cash value contracts are individually designed for each person's own financial circumstances, and are offered from a very limited number of companies, as mentioned.

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IN a NUTSHELL - In these contracts, you build up early tax free CAPITAL (high, early cash values) within the policy, through the addition of very "special" riders (accelerated cash values - accelerated paid-up-additions - slashed advisor commissions paid, etc) - for all your own BORROWING and FINANCIAL needs - and, as a nice "bonus", your family (or estate) can receive a substantial built in (tax free) INHERITANCE (death benefit), should you die - and you could receive a large (tax free) RETIREMENT income, should you live.

In part, it all depends how well you decide to "fund" (or "over fund") your OWN bank (via these IBC contracts). Again, these special (IBC) contracts are "not" understood or known to most of us (including most investment / financial consultants).

When you are ready to buy your next car, or to pay down student loans, or to purchase an item, or pay for a service, or buy equipment for your business or practice, etc - and you have enough capital (high cash values) -- well, instead of paying cash, or financing it, through a "commercial bank", you utilize the funds, or finance the purchase, through your OWN bank. It's not rocket-science - with the 'Infinite Banking Concept' (IBC) - you are "both" the CUSTOMER and the BANK.

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CENTRAL HUB - Despite what some so-called (traditional) "financial gurus" might say about the 'Infinite Banking Concept' (they would be wrong) - I see this as being able to form the FOUNDATION for your complete money management strategies, Further, over the years, it has already stood the test of time, with many market crashes, stock and mutual fund nosedives, IRA, 401k and RRSP volitilities, the 2008 meltdown, the declining real estate markets, etc.

It's been around for more than 200 years, and has been one of the safest places anywhere to store and grow your money during bad economic times. The different "layers of consumer safeguards" for life insurance companies are far greater than for commercial banks.

STOCK MARKET & EQUITIES - This is NOT to discount the "stock market" or "mutual funds" as a possible source of future asset growth, and income. NO. It's only saying that it's wise to call this what it really is - a place where money can, and will, be made, or lost, "without any involvement from us". It's akin to being a "non-voting partner" in a business, where all one can do is watch the ship sail wherever it does - it is completely "out" of OUR control.

IBC CONTRACT - Not so with a properly structured IBC ('Infinite Banking Concept')contract, or series of contracts - which can form the solid CORNERSTONE for our future financial security.

POWERFUL TOOL - I see this as clearly one of the most unique and the most powerful (guaranteed) financial resources available - to help you "control spending" - to help you maximize the "use" of YOUR money - to "protect" against the volatility (and uncertainty) of the market - to provide a solid, long-term "financing" tool - and to build wealth, in order to fund a secure financial future for you and your family. I see this as a predictable, stable financial ASSET - one built on a foundation of contractual GUARANTEES.

BOOKS - In addition to this great book (Nelson Nash's "Becoming Your Own Banker" - the "bible" on IBC), you can get additional information on IBC (and increased financial education), from a number of other excellent books. I have personally read (studied) all of these, available through Amazon.com -- "How The Private Banking System Really Works" -- "Financial Independence in The 21st Century" -- "A Path to Financial Peace of Mind"-- "Bank On Yourself" -- "The Wealthy Physician" -- "Confessions of a CPA" -- "Discovering Hidden Treasures" -- and more.

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BOTTOM LINE - This book (based on Austrian economics) should, in my opinion, be "required reading" for every high school, college and university student - and everyone should create his or her OWN "Family Bank".

IS IBC "PERFECT"? - Probably not. Is IBC for "everyone"? Also probably not. But for those who are willing to think "outside the box" - who are "open minded" - who are interested in "financial education" - who are are "disciplined" - IBC can put YOU in control of your finances, and help YOU grow your net worth and build real wealth - pure and simple (but not easy, as it takes a bit of initial "study" and on-going "discipline", as already mentioned).

If you first, understand what the "commercial" banks do to create wealth - then, turn that around to use the very same techniques to make "yourself" wealthy over time (in part, by recapturing so many of the dollars that leave your circle of wealth every day) - YOU will most likely become a large "beneficiary" of IBC

This book gives the lay person a clear picture of the traditional "banking cycle" and what it does to our finances. It teaches us about what I believe is a remarkable "financial vehicle" - that, when correctly understood, and intelligently used - can "heal" many of our financial ills.

Here, we are introduced to the "proper" money management strategies for real wealth creation and legacy enrichment.

DO NOT 'SKIM' - You cannot "skim" this book (or the other great books about IBC). Read it with an open mind (avoid the naysayers - they simply do not understand this enough), then re-read it, then "study" it - until you "de-educate" yourself about many of the OLD ideas on saving and investing - until you're able to "grasp" this exceptional NEW idea fully for yourself.

I now believe this (PBS) is a magnificant "alternative" for (or addition to) what most investment brokers, insurance agents and financial planners have been promoting for years. It can help you greatly to change your own financial path.

I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically give this book a BIG "5-STAR" endorsement!

Sincerely / Peter A.

Peter Arnold, CLU, CFC / Founder
[...] / Canada
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on November 18, 2010
This is not your average read, you have to actually engage the thinking portion of your brain to get just a taste of the wealth of infomation and knowledge that Nelson has put in this workbook for the uncommon common man. Change the way you think about money- your money. Change the way you use your money. Change the way you control your money. Learn what the banks do to create wealth and turn it around and use the same techniques to make yourself wealthy. You in control of your finances, pure and simple- but not easy. You can not skim this book. Read it, then re-read it and re-read it 17 more times. Did you catch what he is saying in the equipment financing section? Recapture all your principle and interest on your equipment, car loans, school loans, any financing you care or need to do? Did you see how he explained that? Re-read it, it is there. What about the generational wealth example, did you see what you can create for your legacy? Re-read it, it's there. Compare the CD sister to the IBC sister for cautious, risk-adverse savers, do you see it? Paying with cash costs you money? He explains why and how to plug the holes your money is leaking out through. Rediscover the tools your grandparents used to survive and profit from the last Great Depression. Read it!
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on May 15, 2010
I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about the concept of Infinite Banking. I mean, creating a bank using insurance policies? I thought it was just another way for agent to sell insurance. But after reading this book (a quick, easy read, by the way) I was blown away. Then I did some research and became even more excited, then I quickly read this book two more times taking more and more notes each time. Needless to say I won't be selling this book...ever. It's full of notes and highlighter.

After reading this book and doing a little digging I got more and more p**sed, actually, after realizing what a scam most of the financial industry is and how we just get played. This book teaches you how to finally get out of that game and have some control.

My only criticism is that it does not go too deep into the details of how to implement the system, but that's because it just can't due to the fact that the specific policies you implement will be different.

I'm so excited about this concept not only did I get policies setup but I went out and got my license so I can share this wonderful news with others!

GET THIS BOOK!
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on July 3, 2011
While the concepts presented in the book are good, Nelson Nash desperately needs an editor. He wanders down rabbit trails, makes gratuitous disparaging remarks (in one passage, for example, he makes a passing reference to life insurance professionals as "clowns" without any explanation), begs the point in many of his arguments, and has gaps in his logical presentations.

Nash takes positions which are apparently self-evident to him. But they are not self-evident to me, and I would have welcomed a little more "connecting the dots." In some areas he offers far more details than are needed to explain his concept, while in other areas he offers far fewer details than are needed.

The book is sprinkled with Bible verses, although the topic - finance - is not presented from any kind of religious perspective.

In short, this self-published book appears to be the product of the mind of one man, rather than the minds of one man plus an editor, or one man plus a publisher. That's too bad, because, while Nash has some valid concepts, the book is not a mature expression of those concepts.

The book is fairly expensive: With only 59 pages of text (plus pages and pages of columns of figures, a few blank or almost-blank pages, a two-page glossary, etc.), the book costs about 35 cents per page of text; compare that with any other book you're likely to buy).

If reading "Becoming Your Own Banker" leaves you scratching your head and muttering "Huh?" more than you would like, pick up a copy of The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future. Yellen, who acknowledges Nash as her inspiration, has taken Nash's concepts and expressed them well. Her book is everything Nash's is not. On the positive side, it's well-written, focused, well-edited, and entertaining. On the negative side, Yellen's book isn't as detailed (you won't find the pages and pages of columns of figures you find in "Becoming Your Own Banker"). Unlike Yellen's first book, this New York Times best-seller is full of the specifics and the details you need to make a well-informed decision regarding taking charge of your own financial future.

Each book has its strengths and each has its weaknesses. But if I could read only ONE of the two, I would pick Yellen's, hands down.
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on April 17, 2011
Financial Planning Red Flag #1 -- lots of gushing "this'll change your life!" reviews
Financial Planning Red Flag #2 -- a highly complex plan sold by the concept of "fighting The Man" and/or "helping the little guy"
Financial Planning Red Flag #3 -- hidden costs and overly rosy projections

OK, I'll be brief -- I'm the CEO of a company; I've had years of experience investing and managing finances. There is nothing fundamentally untrue about the "infinite banking" or "becoming your own banker" concept, but it's unnecessarily expensive and burdensome when you can accomplish the same thing with a little self-discipline.

The idea here is that you buy a complicated version of whole life insurance (that most people will not understand in terms of the risk/cost/reward/headache factor) and that once you've built up value in this policy (by paying into it for x years), you can then borrow against its value -- essentially from yourself -- and then pay your own account interest instead of borrowing from a bank or credit union for larger purchases. The plus to this system is that your policy continues to accrue dividends on the amount you've borrowed as well as what you've left in the policy. They claim this is tax free -- in a limited sense it is, but only if you have the knowledge and finesse to meet all the requirements of the system. I highly question whether the vast majority of people who've bought into this scheme really understand if they're getting the benefits they think they are.

What they don't tell you is that the easiest way to "become your own banker" is to forego an expensive whole life policy (which requires a fairly large lump sum up front, by the way), and simply make sure you take a reasonable amount of money (whatever you might otherwise pay into a policy under a plan like this) and park it in laddered CDs and/or a mix of index funds, including a decent mix of safer bonds. Then, when you want to buy a car, boat, whatever, you take money out of this account to do it and, using an amortization calculator like those on bankrate.com and a myriad other sites, calculate what your monthly payment would be on the item had you financed through a bank, credit card, etc. and "pay yourself" back this amount every month via direct deposit from your employer (which also easily enforces self-discipline). Ta da! You've just "become your own banker"

In essence, all this plan is is a complicated and expensive way to enforce saving for your future purchases. Don't let people like this author (or "Rich Dad" and his ilk) use fear of the big, bad financial / tax system to scare you into making an investment you don't understand. Pay down your debt and save for the future is all anyone needs to do. But then that wouldn't make a very long book nor a snappy title.

Best of luck to you!
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on April 26, 2010
Depending on other people to handle and control your finances can be fantastic if they truly were knowledgeable, and cared about you more than how much money they could make from you. If you find someone like that, please pass their card around. For most of us, we have to take charge of learning and applying the best principles and practices that ensure we are ahead of the game. This book is written simply, the concept is simple, and it works, period. If you like the gamble of the stock market, the rush of flipping houses, the hard work and stress of starting and maintaining a business, go ahead. This universal banking concept can help you provide the financial backing. If you like the "no-risk" of mutual funds, 401-k, savings accounts, you are on an escalator going down while you are looking the other way. This is not a get rich quick book. This is a discipline that pays off big time in a few years, and REALLY big time by the time you are retiring or leaving your inheritance to your loved ones. Be the stress-free turtle and win the race instead of the arrogant rabbit that loses it. R. Nelson Nash deserves the Nobel Smart prize and the Purple Good Heart for sharing his knowledge to us all.
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on September 9, 2010
I believe many of us know that the banks really have a ton of money. And they make this money at our "expense." The government, though it has accummulated a huge debt still "gets" a lot of money. I didn't want to say "make" as they don't work to make money. They "take" it from all of us through taxes. So, the odds are stacked against us, the everyday working man. Robert Nash provides a system to change the tide and give us the advantage. By creating our own bank, we longer have to be at the mercy of the institutional banks. Instead of borrowing money from these banks and making them rich through the interest we pay, we can create our own bank, borrow money from it, and pay interest back to our bank! Novel, but very powerful concept. When we pay interest to the banks, the money is gone. When we pay interest back to our own bank, the money becomes available to us again! The system through the normal way that it works also provides a tax advantage. Robert teaches the system in great detail and thoroughly explains the whys. This is a must read for those who wish to build wealth and free themselves from the conventional banking institution.
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on June 21, 2010
The information in this book would have changed my life had I know it decades ago when I was younger. Now, I will be trying to influence my children/grandchildren to take advantage of the Infinite Banking System.
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on January 18, 2016
If everyone would do what this book says, it would change America. I mean that! The concept is so life-changing, not only for the individual but for the family. You may have to read the book 2 or 3 times and even view YouTube videos before it really sinks in, but the premise is astounding. I wish we had know about this when we we young enough to really take advantage of it, but we have given it to our children and hope they will be able to put it into practice. Why pay interest to the bankers, when you can put it into your own pocket?
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on September 8, 2011
If you haven't heard IBC fully explained to you yet please do not rule it out based on naysayers or thinking that it is too good to be true. Call up one of the mutual insurance companies that are familiar with the concept and they will tell you that the guaranteed portions of the contract are just that, Guaranteed! When all other financial vehicles were floundering in 2008, please take a look at how mutual life insurance companies faired and let your findings speak for themselves.

IBC simply allows you to recapture interest payments you would normally pay to another bank and pay yourself the same rate for your gain and not that of a bank. To quote Jacopo from the Count of Monte Cristo..."How is this a bad plan?" Did I mention that the concept is Awesome?!

Sincerely,
Recent Convert
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