Is Gold Money Again?

 

The gold standard has one tremendous virtue: the quantity of the

money supply, under the gold standard, is independent of the policies

of governments and political parties. This is its advantage. It is a form

of protection against spendthrift governments.”

— Ludwig von Mises, from Economic Policy

 
 

  gold buffalo coin

 

 

On June 18, the Federal Reserve and FDIC circulated a letter to banks that proposes to harmonize US regulatory

capital rules with Basel III. BASEL III is an accord that tells a bank how much capital it must hold to safeguard its

solvency and overall economic stability.

It’s a global standard on bank capital adequacy, stress testing, and market liquidity risk.Here’s the important bit:At

the top of the proposed changes is the new list of “zero-percent risk weighted items,” which now includes “gold

bullion,” right after “cash.

 

That’s the part to take notice of.If the proposals are approved by regulators — and that

seems likely since adoption of Basel III will be — then this is a momentous change for the gold market.

Now banks will be allowed to hold bullion in their vaults and count it among their Tier 1 assets — in other words, the

least risky assets.That by itself would be bullish for the gold price, as banks that recognize gold’s unique

characteristics seek to stockpile more of it.

 

But that’s not the whole story…Gold Regains Money Status

For one thing, Basel III also stipulates that a bank’s Tier 1 holdings must rise from 4% of assets to 6%.That means

that banks may not only replace a portion of their existing paper with bullion, but may use it to meet some of the

extra 2% as well.In addition, this vote of confidence from the highest monetary authorities gives further impetus to

the remonetization of gold.

 

In essence, what’s happening is that from now on gold will be considered “money” in

virtually the same way as cash or bonds.And banks will be given the choice between holding more of their core

assets in history’s most reliable store of value vs. paper backed by nothing more than the promises of increasingly

wasteful governments. Finally, there is the impact on individual and institutional investors.

Jeff Clark, in Casey Research’s BIG GOLD newsletter, has been guiding gold investors for years. In his view, this

news looks set to really shake up the gold market, because as regulators and banks increasingly view gold as having

safety on a par with the various paper alternatives, it is logical that they will also see the need to beef up their own

holdings.There are a number of positives for gold going forward.

Though it remains speculation on our part, we believe that the net result of Basel III and associated adjustments to

US regulations will be an increased recognition of gold’s safe-haven status across all markets.

And that translates into higher global demand for the metal next year, and a concomitant increase in its price.If you

haven’t done so already, it’s time to get informed on gold and begin adding it to your portfolio.

Regards,Doug Hornig

for The Daily Reckoning

 

 

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Crystal Blue Persuasion and Mad Men Cool

The Mad Men Guide to Changing the
World with Words

image of Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Mad Men made writers sexy again.

Donald Draper is dark and moody and mysterious in all the right ways. He’s powerful, able to send staff scurrying from his office with a scowl.

And he’s a creative genius too, lounging on his office couch, sipping whisky, and crafting the perfect slogan to capture the minds of America.

He makes it all look so freaking cool.

All of them do. Peggy, Don, even Roger, who does nothing these days but loaf around and spit out hilarious one-liners.

It’s not just them. It’s their work.

They sit around thinking up the perfect ad.

Then they convince their clients to spend beaucoup bucks on it. Millions of people fall all over themselves to buy the product, shifting consumer culture, spawning billion-dollar industries, becoming household names.

And they do it all with nothing but words. How cool is that? You write something down, publish it, and it changes the world.

Then again, maybe it’s more familiar than you think. Let’s go through some of the quotes from the show, and I’ll show you how some of the principles apply just as much to blogging as they do advertising.

The big idea

A slogan’s nothing when you have a good idea.
~ Peggy Olsen

Hang around any type of professional writer, and you’ll notice that they’re all prodigious collectors of ideas. They’re constantly reading, listening, and watching for that next big “Aha.”

They know that once they find it, packaging it is easy. They can wrap it up in a slogan, headline, or a domain name in a matter of minutes.

Amateurs do it the opposite way. They worry so much about their domain names and headlines and slogans that they never get around to finding truly great ideas.

The truth is, all of those things are just wrapping paper. It’s the gift inside that counts.

Focus on finding the big idea, and the rest will take care of itself.

Digging for inspiration

A new idea is something they don’t know yet, so of course it’s not going to show up as an option.
~ Don Draper

So where do you find great ideas for your writing?

It’s tempting to look around your niche and think, “Everything important has already been said. What else is there?”

Well, nothing, of course, but that’s the point. Great ideas aren’t just lying around, waiting for you to use them. You have to search for them.

You have to read books. You have to listen to people. And yes, you can even get inspiration from watching television.

The key is doing the work. The ground may be full of buried treasure, but you have to be willing to grab a shovel and start digging.

Sure, it’s hard, but if you’re willing to do it, you’ll never have a shortage of great ideas. Really, there is an ocean of them down there, waiting for you to tap into.

Doing nothing

I’ll never get used to the fact that most of the time it looks like you’re doing nothing.
~ Roger Sterling

When you’re a writer, sitting by the pool and reading a book is all part of your job.

Sure, it’s relaxing. Sure, you enjoy it. Sure, you might feel a little guilty about it.

But if you stop, what happens? I’ll tell you: your creativity will dry up, your work will get stale, and you’ll lose your edge.

So, stop being ashamed of it.

Personally, I spend about 3-4 hours per day watching television, reading books, and listening to NPR. On average, I also stare into space for about 1-2 hours, just thinking.

If anyone asks what I’m doing, I say I’m working. Because I am.

Healthy fear

Fear stimulates my imagination.
~ Don Draper

Sometimes it’s hard to convince your brain of it, but fear is a good thing.

If you’re afraid, it means you’re working on something important. If you’re afraid, it means you’re stretching yourself and learning new things. If you’re afraid, it means you have a reason to act.

How many stories have you heard of entrepreneurs who were dead broke and had to build a successful business or they would starve to death? It’s not a coincidence.

If you don’t have a gun to your head, then you’re probably not going to get much done. So, put a gun to your head. Intentionally.

For every day you don’t write 1,000 words, agree to donate $100 to a political party you despise. If you can’t find the time for your online business, turn in your resignation at work. If you can’t wake up in the morning, deliberately schedule meetings for 8 AM, so you have to get up.

Sure, it’s painful. Sure, it’s dangerous. Sure, it’s scary.

But that’s what makes it so powerful.

The red velvet rope

You wanna be on some people’s minds. Some people, you don’t.
~ Roger Sterling

Have you thought about who you want reading your blog?

And perhaps more importantly, have you thought about who you don’t want reading it?

You probably know that you can’t please everyone, so you shouldn’t even try, and while that’s true, this takes it a step further.

Smart marketers don’t just ignore bad prospects. They exclude them.

They publish posts intentionally designed to annoy them. They ignore their emails. They respond harshly to their comments.

To some extent, it’s about focusing your attention on the people you can help. But it’s also about shaping your tribe. No one wants to be a part of a group anyone can join.

By excluding the wrong people, you make the experience more precious for the right people. No, it’s not always pretty, but that’s the way we humans work.

The product people can’t stop buying

People were buying cigarettes before Freud was born.
~ Don Draper

Pop quiz. Which is better:

  • A) Starting a blog about a topic you are interested in, and then convincing the world to listen to you?
  • B) Starting a blog about a topic the world is interested in, and then convincing yourself to write about it?

If you chose B, congratulations. You chose correctly.

Without even realizing it though, most people choose A. They start a blog about a subject they want to write about, and then they use every psychological trick in the book to get people to read it.

And sometimes, it works. If you’re a good enough marketer, you can prop up any blog or product, no matter how bad it is.

But why go through the trouble?

People don’t buy cigarettes because of the marketing. They buy them because they’re addicted. Cigarette companies are obliged to finance millions of dollars on marketing campaigns to convince people to stop smoking, and yet they continue to make billions of dollars anyway.

On the one hand, it’s horrifying, but on the other, it’s just smart business. The best type of product is the one people can’t stop buying.

Can you say the same of your blog? Is your content so important they can’t stop reading?

Relationships

You’re not good at relationships because you don’t value them.
~ Roger Sterling

I’m sick and tired of marketers who see social media as nothing more than a way to score free traffic.

Yes, it works … for a while. Yes, it’s profitable … for a while. Yes, no one seems to notice you’re a total douche … for a while.

But eventually, it falls apart. Always.

Here’s why: those traffic figures in your analytics account aren’t just numbers. They’re people.

You have to value them. You have to treat them well. Horror of horrors, you might even have to bring yourself to like them.

Because if you don’t, they’ll leave.

The next time you sit down to write a blog post, envision a stadium full of people. See yourself standing in the middle of them. Feel the anxiety in your stomach, as you get ready to perform.

And then ask yourself: what can you possibly say that would be worthy of the attention of more than 100,000 people?

Whatever it is, that’s what you should write. Nothing else.

Happiness

Advertising is based on one thing: happiness.
~ Don Draper

If you want a big audience, focus on one thing: making your readers happy.

Sure, writing killer content is a part of that. So is building relationships.

You might even say selling people products that improve their lives is a way of delivering happiness, too.

But it’s easy to lose sight of it. You can get lost in sharing your expertise, tinkering with the technology, or writing something you enjoy.

All of that’s important, sure, but none of it’s going to turn people into raving fans, faithfully reading and talking about your blog for the rest of their life. To get that kind of reaction, you need to write posts that touch people.

Give them a reason to laugh. Give them a reason to cheer. Give them a reason to keep fighting, even when they feel like all hope is lost.

Do that, and you won’t have to search for readers. They’ll search for you. You’ll boot up your computer one morning to find thousands upon thousands of them waiting for you, ready to listen, ready to learn, ready to launch into action.

And that’s when you’ll realize: you’re not just a writer anymore. Word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, you’re changing the world.

Maybe you’re like Don, lying on a couch, sipping a glass of bourbon, or maybe you’re not. Either way, you gotta admit…

It’s pretty freaking cool.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is the Associate Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of GuestBlogging.com.

Get Your Focus Back!

Find your foocus
Find your focus

 

Get Your Focus Back!

I am sending this out on my blog because it is something I have to contend with daily. Charlie Page has written an excellent article that I am happy to pass along to others. If you are feeling overwhelmed with information or not sure what to do with the programs you have or are considering – listen up……..

 

………There is one question I asked everyone, and their answers surprised me.

My question to them — “What is your #1 challenge to succeeding online?”

While I received a variety of answers, the #1 answer by far is this … “I’m suffering from information overload! I bought the courses and products and still don’t know what to do next!

It’s understandable really. There is SO much information out there. From free information on blogs and in articles to courses ranging from $27 to $7500 (or more) there is no lack of information.

So why isn’t everyone succeeding online?


While there are almost certainly many reasons why people are generally not achieving their goals online, I believe a big factor (maybe the #1 factor) is this …

We live in a distracted world

There are many reasons for this. We live in the most distracted society in history. Where I live we are actually passing laws to stop people from texting while they drive! How crazy is it that we have to make a law to stop people from texting while they drive a car or truck?

Doesn’t common sense say that no one should text and drive at the same time?

In addition, we are led to believe that “multitasking” will help us get more done when in fact multitasking is often part of the problem. It’s simply not in our DNA to read email, talk on the phone, and visit websites all at the same time. Something is going to suffer quality-wise when we try to do many things at once.

So what is the answer? How can we get our focus back? I believe there are five things you can do beginning today that will help.

1. Decide what you really want to do

I’ve talked with more people than I can count who have tried it all. Solo ads, pay per click, blogging, getting links, posting endless classifieds … and none of it is working.

One reason for this is that they are not spending enough time learning how to do one thing well before moving on to other things. This too is understandable. Sales letters full of hype lead us to believe we can make $100K in 90 days no matter where we are now or that “three clicks” is all it takes. That’s bull of course, but it sure sells.

You know in your heart there is no quick fix “add water and stir” solution to making money online just like there is no real get-rich-quick methods that work offline.

So what are we to do?

Focus – Choose one method and master it.

That’s what I did with article marketing when I joined the Directory of Ezines. That’s what Alex Mandossian did with teleseminars. That’s what Jeff Johnson did with affiliate marketing and what Jeff Walker did with product launches and Jimmy Brown did with small reports and fixed term memberships.

In the story of every successful person there is a moment where that person is tempted to move away from what made them successful and “branch out” into new things.

Resist that urge with all your might.

Stick with the marketing method you choose long enough to master it. There is no “marketing gene” you lack — if I can do this you can do this.

As we say in the south – “dance with the one who brought you”

The fact is, no one can do everything well. It takes focus and commitment to hang in there long enough to learn the skills needed to succeed online. You wouldn’t expect to open a restaurant and be successful if you didn’t know how to cook. You would need recipes and skills and practice. And the same thing applies online.

You need a recipe (a plan) and some skills and some practice in order to succeed. But if you stick with it you will succeed and then freedom will be yours. So give yourself time to succeed, because it simply takes time.

2. Create “focus blocks”

The next key is to create what I call “focus blocks”. Focus blocks are simply short periods of time where you focus in like a laser on one task. Sounds easy but it’s not.

When I say “focus” I mean that the task at hand is the only thing you are doing. The only thing you are thinking about. The only thing you are talking about, even in your head.

Extreme focus creates extreme results.

I suggest starting with short bursts. Start with 5 minutes and work up. Eventually you will be able to completely focus for an hour or more.

Another tip – do it every work day. Like any muscle your ability to focus needs to be exercised.

Realize going in that this won’t be easy and you will “fail your way to success”. In other words, the first time you try you might get a rush of thoughts about things you need to do, or want to be doing, instead of the focus you seek. That’s okay, in the next section I’ll show you what to do with those thoughts.

For now, focus completely on one task for five minutes and get as much done as you can, even if the doing is made up of thinking it through. And expect to be a little tired when you finish.

3. Avoid distractions

If you are like most people, the moment you try to focus is the moment the flood of thoughts comes rushing in. The million and one things you need to do present themselves. You recall a conversation from earlier in the day. You daydream about what it’s going to be like when you make it big online!

All perfectly normal. Happens to us all. Here are three ways to combat distractions during your focus blocks.

Put the world on notice – Let everyone who might interrupt you know that you simply are not available for the next period of time. Unless it’s a true emergency those who care about you should be able to respect this boundary.

Close extra programs – Close everything, and I do mean everything, except what you are working on. As I type this I have two computers and two phones on my desk. All programs are off and all phones forwarded while I write. The biggest offenders are instant messages and email so be sure they are closed.

Write down thoughts – Thoughts will often drift into your mind (or even flood!) as you are trying to focus. When they do, take a moment to write them down briefly. Writing them down gets those out of your head and onto a reliable retrieval device (paper, word processor, Evernote) so you can relax and not worry you will forget anything.

HINT: If you want true focus power check your email only once a day and use a private address instead of one address for all email. Incredibly freeing!

4. Use what you buy

Once you have identified what you intend to do (master social media for example) it’s time to assemble the tools you will need. And here’s where the temptation and confusion can come in.

First, please understand that you probably own everything you need right now. While there are a million cool things we can buy online the odds are that using what you already own will do the trick.

I’ve had literally hundreds of members reply “I already own that” when I would suggest a book by Perry Marshall or a course by Jimmy Brown. I understand all too well — I used to buy everything too.

Aweber is a good example. SO many people have an Aweber account but are not building their list and profiting from simple follow up email marketing. It’s a shame too because follow up can set you free!

So here are the steps to make sure you have what you need and use what you have.

Make a list of the tools you own now – The key here is to make a categorized list of the software, books and memberships you own now. Just make a list on a sheet of paper or your computer of what you have already bought. I like to categorize this as books, software, memberships, PL rights, etc. Do whatever works for you.

Choose what gets you toward your goal – Separate out the tools and resources you have that are about the topic you intend to focus on. If you intend to become a master of article marketing, for example, you don’t need to review or access information about pay per click just now. I suggest actually moving the files on your computer to a new folder with the name of your new focus. That way everything is in one container.

Review the list – Let’s say your focus is going to be article marketing and that you have found 4 books and 2 memberships that teach article marketing. It’s time to scan each and decide which one you want to use.

WARNING: Thinking that you can blend the best from many resources is logical but can lead to confusion. Pick the one resource you feel is the best and fully use that first.

Use one product fully – Once you have chosen your top resource, get into it and study like your life depended on it. Don’t be casual. Don’t think about anything else. Imagine you NEED to know everything you can know about this topic and really dig deep.

5.  Maintain your focus

You know already that the Internet is full of shiny objects. Videos that promise easy riches. Sales letters that make it seem so easy. And those blasted Clickbank screenshots (many are fake) showing what you wish your Clickbank account looked like.

Here’s the hard part — it’s time to say no to the hype. I know you know this but it bears repeating again and again.

  • There is no “next big thing”
  • There is no “three click wonder”
  • There is no “you do nothing” system

Your parents were right when they said that “things that sound too good to be true usually are.” Common sense alone tells us that the “three click” “no work” “newbie perfect” solutions aren’t real but we keep on buying. We hope against hope that this time it will work. This time we will get the help we need. This time it will be different.

While hope is good (wonderful in fact and necessary) the fact is that nothing replaces focus and good old fashioned work.

So there you have it — five ways to get your focus back and keep it.

If you do these things every day you will experience a freedom you can only now imagine, and freedom is a beautiful thing indeed!

 

P.S. Please leave a comment below or share this post with others. We all need more focus!

 

About Charlie Page

Happily married for 38 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 10 books on Internet marketing and owner of The Directory of Ezines, Follow Up Selling Systems and other membership sites.