How to Build a Massive Retirement Plan from Scratch!
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How to Build a Massive Retirement Plan from Scratch!

The CENSORED Truth About Workplace 401K Plans You Won't Read About in the Financial Media.
4.4 (31 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,504 students enrolled
Created by Scott Brown
Last updated 1/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $200 Discount: 94% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
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  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Arrange your employer sponsored 401k plan in the way regarded most efficient by finance professor holding doctorates and doing research in the area.
  • Maximize expected return by simply following the averages.
  • Minimize retirement destroying fees and expenses.
View Curriculum
  • Basic reading and math.
  • Students need to gather information about their retirement plans for this course.

ATTENTION: The CENSORED Truth About Workplace 401K Plans You Won't Read About in the Financial Media.


Updated Monday, May 23, 2016, 10:41 A.M.

Have you seen the PBS FRONTLINE documentary “The Retirement Gamble" that aired on April 23rd of 2013? It struck a chord with Dr. Brown as he lay in his four poster bed in one of the most upscale neighborhoods in San Juan.

BULLET-PROOF 401K SUPERCHARGER teaches you how to employ his advanced doctoral knowledge of finance to avoid the pitfalls PBS journalists uncovered. It was eerie to watch PBS FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith realize that his retirement is underfunded in part because of the secret costs that come with a 401(k).

This scathing documentary reveals the problem you face — that Dr. Brown has been helping those close to him — as well as his MBA students at the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Business with for quite some time. Forbes succinctly summarizes this as "Our retirement plan system is rigged to rip off Americans struggling to save for retirement."

The Retirement Gamble" identifies these dangers facing you today...

1. Just a minority of Americans have enough saved to cover a lengthy life as a retiree

2. Why our patchwork mess of retirement systems is a gold vein for financial predators in 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

Benefit #1: Squash Wall Street's cockroaches before they squash you

3. The U.S. government will not protect your retirement from Wall Street goons.

4. No retirement adviser is as trusted as yourself.

5. Many plan participants don't know what they are invested in.

Benefit #2: Learn why you should avoid annuities

6. The God Father of index funds, John Bogle of Vanguard fame, points out that a 7% yield collapses to 5% under a low 2% annual fee.

7. Diversify away from your employer plan into multiple IRAs you alone control. Here are some quick solutions...

Benefit #3: Plan Screening...

Check your 401(k) or 403(b) against this national database. Some employer sponsored plans are so bad you may want to consider not contributing. Doc Brown will show you a powerful alternative to your employer sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) plans fewer than 5% of Americans understand. Yet this alternative is available to all.

Inside Dr. Brown will teach you how to carefully determine whether you should just say "no" to your current employer sponsored 401(k) plan.

Even with a good plan you will contribute just up to the matching. Scott will teach you why you should never make the full contribution if you do not own the company.

Discover why you should never contribute to an employer sponsored 401(k) with no matching.

Alternative Retirement Accounts...

Discover how to sock away even bigger wads of hard-cash-money in a Roth IRA. Scott will show you a secret way to invest in a Roth IRA even if your accountant or financial planner (wrongly) tells you that your income is too high.

Dr. Brown has proven that it is possible with the results he has garnered for his own family.

How to Find Low Cost Funds...

He will show you how to identify the lowest-cost mutual funds in your plan. Imagine saving up to 9% per year in fees!

How to Pay Your Family Forward...

You may have tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in your portfolio that you have simply forgotten. Discover the most convenient steps to roll your old 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans forward. How to get money laying around off your ex-bosses' tables and out of their sticky fingers from that that old job you didn't like.

Benefit #4: Develop a realistic approach to all of your retirement income streams.

How to Save, Save, and Save Even More...

How to set yourself up to take Social Security benefits.

Best Places to Retire...

He'll cover the best places to retire as you thrive in outliving your assets.

Benefit #5: Avoid bad countries and nasty living locations.

How to Escape the Retirement Gamble...

"The Retirement Gamble" made enough of a stir to prompt a "piece about the piece" on MoneyWatch. The author emphasizes that underhanded dealings range from "active funds that come with high fees and indecipherable disclosures" to annuities sold to financially unsophisticated teachers where guaranteed returns were misrepresented. MoneyWatch concludes that "The Retirement Gamble" discloses abuses Allan Roth sees every day.

He criticizes Christine Marcks, President of Prudential Retirement, of feigning ignorance of these abuses and hard evidence that indexing beats active investing.

In BULLET-PROOF 401K SUPERCHARGER you'll discover a series of steps that will both protect your money from a catastrophic market crash AND maximize your 401K in the process.

Forbidden 401K Secrets your Boss Doesn't Want You to Know!

More importantly, you will tap into...

Benefit #5: You'll be able to use the lowest cost strategy.

Garner the highest likely return, that has dramatically grown our plans over the years. You'll learn:

Benefit #6: A simple website to rank the cost of the selections in your 401K plan...

Benefit #7: How you can beat the actively managed mutual fund managers at their own game with simple low cost index funds...

Benefit #8: Why you should only invest up to the matching in your employer sponsored 401K...

Benefit #9: What to do with the rest...

Benefit #10: How to guarantee that your 401K survives the next wipeout...

Benefit #11: How you can open an individual 401K even if you only earn a salary...

Benefit #12: How to sidestep taxes on tens of thousands of dollars of otherwise taxable income per year with these simple tricks...

Benefit #13: The truth about so-called "emerging markets" -- and why you should avoid them like the plague...

Benefit #14: The only investment in your plan that will allow you to ride out the next crash without worry...

Benefit #15: How to spot the lowest cost indexed fund most likely to double, triple, or quadruple your 401K in this or the next bull market...

And much, much MORE...

Here's Your Elevator to the Leisure Class

In conclusion and in his own words:

"Join right now.I am waiting inside now to help you,

-Dr. Scott Brown

Associate Professor of Finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico."


Who is the target audience?
  • Anybody working for money inside the United States and Puerto Rico retirement law jurisdictions should take this course.
Compare to Other Retirement Planning Courses
Curriculum For This Course
23 Lectures
Welcome to this Unique Support and Learning Community for USA Retirement Savers!
1 Lecture 00:33

Dr. Scott Brown holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of South Carolina. What you are about to learn has resulted in a multi-fold accumulation of our wealth in comparison to our peers. There are a few simple secrets that you must learn.

These secrets are closely withheld from you on Wall Street.

By applying these secrets anybody who truly desires lasting wealth can cross the finish line. Start here if you truly with to learn how to Think and Grow Rich!

Preview 00:33
How to Build Proper Savings Habits to Enrich Your Family for Life!
7 Lectures 50:17

Welcome And – Congratulations!

My name is Dr. Scott Brown, and I am a professor of finance at the University of Puerto Rico. What you are about to learn, I learned from millionaires I met and studied over the years. You’ll soon find that a transformation in your financial situation awaits…

Did you know…

  • 64% of consumers between 18-24 don’t know the interest rates they pay on their credit cards
  • 40% of American families live off 110% or more of their income.
  • 1,700,000 American taxpayers file for bankruptcy every year
  • Only half of all American households have barely $40,000 saved for retirement!

In this course, you’ll learn…

  • Where you can get more money to invest
  • What you can do to reduce your risk of financial insolvency or bankruptcy
  • Who you can really trust in the stock market

In this course, you’ll also master…

  1. What investment accounts are best for you
  2. How to invest through an online brokerage with complete confidence
  3. Simple yet powerful stock investing strategies you can employ immediately!

The Horrible Truth

In the 1980’s the Federal Reserve and our biggest commercial banks secretly colluded to radically increase the price of the home you live in. They did this by manipulating interest rates and through dishonest lending practices.

Nobody complained

… because everybody, including the rich seemed richer!

Buying these overpriced houses forces most families to give up any hope of a wealthy retirement. While home prices grew an inflation-adjusted 100%, your wages only increased ½%!

You Have Two Choices

  1. Do nothing…just pretend that the inflation of your most expensive lifetime purchase and your unchanged wages will have zero effect on your wealth… or you can decide to ...
  2. Get ready to lay the foundation under your future fortune! Learn to position your finances to do that. This is no time to gamble with your family’s financial security.

This course is Unique!

A lot of what is taught within this Udemy course it is not taught in university finance classes. In particular, there is one secret that you won’t learn anywhere else, and that is:

  • “If we wish to change our life experience, we must first change into independent thinkers!”

Arranging Your Money

Our financial system has changed drastically since the post-World War II reconstruction era.

Yet we still follow these “Nostalgic Money Rules” of that time, like:

  • Go to school
  • Get a good job
  • Work hard
  • Save by Controlling Spending

Those were the days of “You’ll be fine if you just lay off the lobster dinners and work hard”. Those days are gone.

Now there are three areas you must master:

  1. Money Management
  2. Time Management
  3. Anger Management
Preview 07:19

Money Management

Think about the game of Blackjack. This is a numbers game, and since it is, a smart person can get an edge on the game.

Some people who play are experienced gamblers, and some are inexperienced. A professional poker player increases bets when the odds are in favor.

On the other hand, the professional gambler will decrease, or not bet, when the odds are unfavorable.

The relationship between bet size and probability is referred to as “money management” in the gambling community. Most investors want to know WHAT to buy instead of HOW MUCH

Wealthy Families Focus More on HOW MUCH and less on WHAT

You have to be very careful how risk on any one investment. When it comes to your family, you need to think of how much you are investing as a percentage of your after-tax net income and net worth.

You protect most of your total family portfolio with index diversification. You protect the rest of your total family portfolio with standing stop orders.

How much money you make and the percentage you get to keep impacts your life. There are four ways to increase your monthly income:

  1. Earn more in your business or get a raise as an employee
  2. Reduce your taxes
  3. Reduce your committed expenses
  4. Get rid of unnecessary expenses

Before you can really get a grip on your finances, you have to know exactly what you make. Figure out what your after-tax net is by completing the following worksheet...

Successful stock investors focus on how much they can actually use of what they make Professional gamblers are very careful to control the RATIO of the amount they bet on any hand.

Top traders use RATIOS in the same way as gamblers.

Preview 07:34

The good news is that you know what cash is going into and out of your family finances. You can use a very simple ratio-based approach to analyze and organize your family finances.

Bullet-Proof Wealth Ratios

The good news is that you know what cash is going into and out of your family finances

You can use a very simple ratio-based approach to analyze and organize your family finances

First, you have to STOP obsessing about money.

The Wealth Ratio

Imagine that there are three factory bins in front of you. They are labeled:

  • Need
  • Fun
  • Save

The Wealth Ratio is based on creating a balance between these three categories.

Wealth Ratios Help You Save…

If you don’t save you will go broke! Financial economists have shown that people become poor when they save less than 10% per year.

They have also shown that people go bankrupt when their needs are more than 50% per year. These findings are the foundations of the Wealth Ratios you’re about to apply to your situation.

If you don’t save you will go broke!

Financial economists have shown that people become poor when they save less than 10% per year.

They have also shown that people go bankrupt when their needs are more than half of their annual after-tax income.

These findings are the foundations of the Wealth Ratios you’re about to apply to your situation.

Wealth Ratios Help You Save…

If you don’t save you will go broke!

Financial economists have shown that people become poor when they save less than 10% per year.

They have also shown that people go bankrupt when their needs are more than 50% per year.

These findings are the foundations of the Wealth Ratios you’re about to apply to your situation.

You don’t have to worry about money because when your NEEDS and your WANTS are balanced, you’ll start saving automatically.

Here is the Wealth Ratio in its most basic form:

  • Needs: 50% or less
  • Wants: 30% or less
  • Savings: 20% or more of total after-tax monthly income!

The Wealth Ratio Prioritizes Expenses!

Believe it or not, your Xbox and premium cable channels are not things you NEED.

That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice such things as long as you make enough income. Nonetheless, they fall under WANTS, which you should keep at less than 30%

Unfortunately, for many of us, these types of luxuries really pump up our monthly costs. If you want to become a successful stock investor, you MUST keep your NEEDS down

So, Just What Is a Need?

When analyzing all your bills and purchases, ask the following three questions:

  1. Can I live in safety and dignity without paying this bill or making this purchase (at least for a while)?
  2. If I lost my job, would I have to keep spending money on this?
  3. Can I live without paying this bill or making this purchase for six months?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, that indicates it’s a need. If you answer is “yes”, it’s a want.

Preview 07:12

Wealth Ratios

Here’s an example. Let’s say that your after-tax monthly income is $3,456.25.

Divide this in half and you get $1,728.13

Most families get paid bi-weekly, which means that your NEEDS expenditures can’t exceed $864.07 per check. If you have a NEEDS deficit, where you’re spending MORE than 50%, get it under control or go broke!

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that your after-tax monthly income is $3,456.25. Divide this in half and you get $1,728.13. Most families get paid bi-weekly, which means that your NEEDS expenditures can’t exceed $864.07 per check.

If you have a NEEDS deficit, where you’re spending MORE than 50%, get it under control or go broke!

How can you reduce your NEEDS costs? After all, they are needs.

Well, you might need food, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat out. Look for ways to decrease the costs of your needs by reexamining what you buy.

Make these calculations as they pertain to your finances. The number you calculate will be the most important number in your financial life.

You HAVE to ENJOY life; that’s a given.

People have a basic need to love, rest, and have fun! Be sure to set aside a specific amount for your WANTS each month. You deserve it!

Most families mindlessly overspend. This is the road to financial misery, failure, and despair!

Preview 04:56

Wealth Ratios

Here’s another example. If your family makes $3,456.25 a month in after-tax income, your want limit would be $1,036.88.

For bi-weekly pay, that would come out to be $518.44 each payday. After calculating your family’s NEEDS amount, move on to calculate your family’s WANTS amount.

It really is just that simple!

After you have calculated your needs and wants, 20% of your income is left for savings . Your first investment should be to pay down your debt and eliminate it forever.

Financial economists have found that a minimum of 10% of a person’s income should be saved in order for them to retire. In other words, if you work hard to save back 10% of your income, you might be lucky enough to live in a trailer park in Arizona when you get old.

Again, let’s say your monthly after-tax income is $3,456.25 and you saved 20%.

That would come out to be a total monthly savings amount of $691.21. You would need to save $345.63 back per payday to accomplish this in this case.

In a year, this would pile up to be $8,295.00!

In 2005, the U.S. personal savings rate was NEGATIVE ½%. That’s because Americans were spending more than they earned by: Purchasing too expensive of a house and/or a car with payments

That pushed their needs up over 50%. Or, they simply accumulated more bad debt that they couldn’t pay

Finally, many people overspend on wants

Not only are people not saving enough, but in the U.S. less than 15% of current workers are eligible for pensions due to companies cutting back on benefits

This pushes people into searching desperately for get-rich-quick solutions

People hardly ever find a way to get rich quick, and even if they do, they lose it again because their conscious and unconscious money psychology hasn’t changed.

If you utilize these Worry Free Wealth Ratios, you will become truly wealthy one day at a time.

A person who is able to save just $5,000 each year will have a net savings of $225,000 over a time period of 45 years, and if they could save 25,000 a year, they would have a net savings of $1,125,000.00.

This can be made just from saving 20%; it doesn’t include the miracle of compound interest, which you will learn more about further on in this course.

  • There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means — either may do — the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.—Benjamin Franklin
How to Maximize Your Retirement Savings 1.5

If your wealth ratios aren't in a healthy 50:30:20 balance, you're living on thin ice.

5 Golden Steps to Creating a Stock Market Fortune!

Here’s an easy path to building your fortune in the stock market…

  • Step:1 Figure out Where you are now.

If your wealth ratios aren’t in a healthy 50:30:20 balance, you’re living on thin ice. You can automate your Wealth Ratio using programs like QuickBooks, Quicken, and Microsoft Money You don’t have to be exact if you’re really busy; imprecise is far better than not at all.

  • Step 2: Save $1,000!

Do your bank and savings accounts tend to run on empty all of the time? Save 20% of your after-tax monthly pay and shovel it into a special bank savings account until you have $1,000 saved. Then, set up a savings account for just that first $1,000.Don’t get an ATM card for this account, and don’t tap into it, except in the MOST DIRE OF EMERGENCIES!

  • Step 3: Pay off bad debt and insure your family against the unforeseen!

Once you save your $1,000, focus on paying off your bad debt. You can’t succeed as a stock investor as long as you carry bad debt from month to month! You HAVE to pay off your credit card balance(s), and any other debts you have, before you can move on to Step 4. Use your full 20% savings until you have completely paid off your debt!

  • Step 4: Build a 6 month security cushion

Multiply monthly NEEDS by 6. This is your savings account target from Step 1. Ex: If your monthly needs limit is $1,728.13 and multiplied by six you’ll have $10,368.78. Use your full 20% savings until achieved.

  • Step 5: Building Lasting Wealth!

Once you reach this stage your wealth ratios will be the same as the top 5% of the world’s wealthiest people. Your financial rocket ship is now ready for launch. This step will last the rest of your life. There are three sub-steps to this step.

    • Step 5a: Save for retirement through tax-advantaged investment retirement accounts in the stock market.

Save up to the matching in your 401(k). Focus on maxing out your Roth IRA contribution limits, balanced with paying off your house. If you can save more …invest it directly through an Individual 401(k) account Find your minimum monthly savings for retirement by multiplying your monthly savings amount by 0.50. Ex: If your monthly minimum savings is $691.25 your minimum monthly savings for retirement should end up being $345.63 a month. Bi-weekly, you would need to save $172.81.

    • Step 5b: Pay off your house!

If you have a 30-year fixed $100,000 mortgage at 6%, then you’re getting:

  1. A guaranteed 6% return paying it off
  2. A $100,000 increase your net worth
  3. A needs reduction of $599.55

Take 5% of your after-tax income (1/4 of your Savings) and use it to pay extra on your mortgage. This is called “accelerating” the mortgage because it pays off your house sooner…way sooner! Let’s look at an example….

Ex: You make $50,000 per year in after-tax income, and you buy a $120,000 house on a 6%, 30-year, fixed rate mortgage with $20,000 as a down payment. This mortgage takes you 360 months (30x12) to pay off. If you make $50,000 and contribute 5% more, that’s an extra $2,500 per year!

That would end up saving you 14 years of mortgage payments!

How to Maximize Your Retirement Savings 1.6

You'll use the other 5% of your after-tax income (25% of your savings) to pump more into the stock market.

    • Step 5c: Invest in the stock market directly.

You’ll use the other 5% of your after-tax income (25% of your savings) to pump more into the stock market. If you can max out your retirement plans do 1 of 2 choices:

  1. save cash for next year's contribution
  2. Invest cash in real estate.

If you dollar cost average you’ll come out ahead no matter what!

Take the amount you save for the stock market and have it automatically transferred to your employer sponsored 401(k), Roth IRA, then individual 401(k) account. Buy indexed mutual fund or index ETF shares every six months or every year, regardless of the share price.

This ensures that you buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. It also protects you from the market losing value shortly after investing y spreading your money overtime.

Here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Have your paycheck automatically deposited in your bank account.
  • Step 2: Open a Roth IRA. If you don’t qualify, open a standard IRA and an individual 401(k).
  • Step 3: Set up an automatic transfer of your savings earmarked for the stock market to your stock brokerage account.
  • Step 4: Go into the account every 3,6, or 12 months and buy indexed funds, which you’ll soon learn more about.

Use the 5 Year Rule!

The stock market is where you will need to put money that you don’t expect to use for five years, such as your retirement funds and your kid’s college money (when young). All of the money you will need sooner, like down payment money for a house or your emergency fund, should go into a savings account.

Let’s say that your minimum monthly savings amount was $691.25. You would multiply that by 0.25. In this case, your investment amount would be $172.81. Most families never figure out how to create a positive cash flow…but now you know how!

When you have solid family finances it reflects in your attitude and your wisdom shines though in daily conversations. Wealthy people and employers start to take notice that something has changed in you, and they pick you!

There are three critical things you should always pay attention to when it comes to planning your family’s finances:

  • Where your money is going
  • How to use your money more effectively
  • Maximizing your income and wealth

The book Richest Man in Babylon is a great read. In the book, a lowly scribe learns 7 steps to great wealth from the richest man in the city of Babylon. They are:

  1. Save.
  2. Budget.
  3. Invest
  4. Insure
  5. Own-a-Home
  6. Cash-flow
  7. Enrich
How to Maximize Your Retirement Savings 1.7
A Peek Inside One of Dr. Scott Brown's Actual Employer Sponsored 401(k) Plans!
4 Lectures 27:43

Your Stock Market Sluice Box

This is a ranking of your best investment account opportunities ...

  1. 1st Best:
    1. Roth IRA
      1. Fully self-directed.
  2. 2nd Best:
    1. Employer sponsored 401(k).
      1. Menu driven but free money matched.
    1. Individual 401(k).
      1. Fully Self Directed
  3. Worst:
    1. Individual Trading Account.
      1. Fully Taxed

What Do I Select?

  • Rule #1: Never buy company stock in your 401K.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy company stock if it’s hot, just don’t do it in your retirement plan. Remember, if you purchase company stock and firm goes bankrupt, you will lose your job and your retirement!

  • Rule #2: Never buy actively managed mutual funds.

You need to understand that returns are worse than the indexes in managed funds.

  • Rule #3: Don’t buy blended funds.

It is likely that you will see selections for blended funds in your 401K.

Academic studies have consistently shown that blended funds are a bad investment when compared to an index fund.

  • Rule #4: Buy indexed mutual funds.

Indexed funds have the lowest expense ratios.

These are your best options in a restricted plan of a few dozen investment selections. WIPEOUT PROTECTION: Indexes lose far less value than single stocks in a crash.

  • Rule #5: Don’t buy indexed bond funds.

You have to use logic here too. Right now interest rates are rising off of extreme lows.

  • Rule #6: Buy just one indexed stock fund with the lowest cost just up to the matching. Any money above the matching is best in an individual 401(k)
  • Rule #7: Never buy annuities.

You can manage your money better than an insurance company. Annuities never grow.Annuity long-term care coverage is illegitimate.

Buy LTC coverage from a reputable insurance carrier at fair premium cost. Recovery of principal is extremely costly. EXCEPTION: Buy annuities if you suffer cognitive decline living alone.

That’s the whole process in a nutshell. Your best choice is an indexed mutual fund. These offer the lowest fees of any mutual fund class. Low-cost computer programs do the allocating; this eliminates the over-paid active manager.

Low fees should guide your top-down portfolio allocation. The easiest way to do this is to identify the selections in your plan with the lowest expense ratios. Expense ratios are readily available for free on the Morningstar website.

How to Maximize Your Employer Sponsored 401k — 1 — Your Stock Market Sluice Box!

What Do I Select?

According to a PBS Frontline piece entitled “The Retirement Gamble”, the average fund charges an expense ratio of 1.30%. Frontline experts warn that investors should select the funds with the lowest expense ratios when faced with an inflexible menu.

  • Step 1: First Consider Your Stock Selections.

The stock plan selections for Dr. Scott Brown’s 401(k) retirement plan with Fidelity will be shown next. Take note that he contributes through his employment as a finance professor. Ignore historic returns. These give no guidance whatsoever in terms of what the funds will return next year.

The two lowest cost menu alternatives for stock are the SPTN TOT MKT IDX ADV (FSTVX) and the SPTN EXT MKT IDX ADV (FSEVX) selections.

Both have miniscule expense ratios of 7/10 ths of 1% at 0.07%. That’s 1.04% lower than the most expensively run fund HTFD EQUITY INC R4 (HQISX). HQISX has an expense ratio of 1.11%.The choice then falls between a large cap and the mid-cap indexed fund. Large cap stocks garner lower returns. Large caps are also less volatile according to return statistics from 1926 into 2010.

  • Step 2: Avoid Anything Blended

You may discover blended mutual fund choices in your 401(k). Do not select blended funds. You never know where the manager is investing your retirement money.

  • Step 3: Consider your Bond Selections

The lowest expense ratio in bond mutual funds is the VANG ST INV GR ADM (VFSUX) This has an ultra-low expense ratio of 0.10%. The PIMCO TOT RETURN ADM (PTRAX) charges the highest expense ratio at 0.71%. At the one tenth of one percent, this fund runs 7 times cheaper than the most expensively operated bond fund.

The lowest expense ratio in bond mutual funds is the VANG ST INV GR ADM (VFSUX). This has an ultra-low expense ratio of 0.10%.

At the one tenth of one percent, this fund runs 7 times cheaper than the most expensively operated bond fund.The lowest expense ratio in bond mutual funds is the VANG ST INV GR ADM (VFSUX). This has an ultra-low expense ratio of 0.10%. The PIMCO TOT RETURN ADM (PTRAX) charges the highest expense ratio at 0.71%. At the one tenth of one percent, VFSUX runs 7 times cheaper than the most expensively operated bond fund PTRAX.

How to Maximize Your Employer Sponsored 401k — 2 — What Menu Item Do I Select?!

What Do I Select?

  • Step 4: Set Your Portfolio Allocation between Stocks and Bonds.

The standard allocation model applied to this 401(k) plan would be 60% Stock (FSTVX or FSEVX) and 40% (VDAUX). Scott is currently 100% invested in FSTVX in this 401K because the stock market is bullish and interest rates are rising off of extreme lows. Simply owning FSTVX gives him a fully diversified portfolio in stocks. The Spartan Total Market Index Fund – Fidelity Advantage Class (FSTCX) has over 3,338 holdings.

The extreme possibilities are 100% in one stock fund or 100% in one bond fund or 100% in cash. Stay out of stock funds with the equity indexes are collapsing. Stay out of bond funds when interest rates are rising such as in the Volker years of the 1980s.

In a near zero interest rate environment, indexed mutual bond funds are much riskier than indexed mutual stock funds. Interest rates are capped naturally at zero. Rates below this imply that lenders would pay issuers to borrow. Park 100% in cash like money market in a stock market crash at low interest rate; corporate bonds otherwise.

  • Step 5: Park your Cash in Major Drops.

This fund has an expense ratio of 0.42%. This is well below the average expense ratio of 1.30% reported by PBS Frontline. Look at the money market 1 year yield of 0.01%. The fund expense ratio is 42 times larger than the prior year return. It makes no sense to put money into an investment where the management fees are vastly higher than the return.

  • Step 5: Park your Cash in Major Drops.

Don’t ever put your 401(k) savings into an indexed fund where the prior year asset yield is lower than the fees charged. Just park your money in cash when the markets turn sour.

Where Should I Live?

Your best guide to quality of life is origin of code of law.

  1. Lowest Crime
    1. Scandinavian Civil Code
    1. Germanic Civil Code
  2. Highest Property Protection
    1. English Common Law
  3. Highest Crime with Poor Property Protection
    1. Napoleonic Civil Code
How to Maximize Your Employer Sponsored 401k — 3 — Deciding if Stocks or Bonds!

In this extremely important video Dr. Scott Brown takes you inside his actual employer sponsored 401k. This allows you to see all of the buttons, lines, and links in his retirement account.

In medical school students sit in the gallery to learn.

Same here. There is no better way to learn than by looking over my shoulder.

How to Maximize Your Employer Sponsored 401k — 4 — Over Doc Brown's Shoulder!
Establishing an Individual 401(k) Plan for Professionals & for Business Owners!
11 Lectures 51:41
Up until now this course has taught you how to manage your traditional 401(k) plan offered as a small menu of mutual funds plus company stock. Congress recognized the need to extend a comparable retirement plan to self-employed professionals.

This is called the individual 401(k) plan.

And strangely it is known by many names ...

  • The solo 401(k)
  • The solo k,
  • The uni-k

This plan is for you if you have no employees and make money in your own business or on a contract by contract basis.

Today you can opt for a Roth or a standard version. The Roth version allows you to sock away after-tax contributions. You pay no tax when money is withdrawn upon retirement.

I recommend that you opt for the traditional version.

There is no better tax deduction. Your individual 401(k) contribution comes straight off your W-2 income.

Your retirement grows tax deferred. Most likely you will retire into a lower tax bracket.

Your withdrawals are taxed at your long term capital gains rate. And the individual 401(k) allows you to borrow against your retirement savings before the age of 59 ½.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — What Exactly Is This Retirement Plan?

An individual 401(k) plan is your next step as you develop into a professional saving machine. The contribution limits are enormous. According to the IRS, “$18,000 in 2015 and 2016, or $24,000 in 2015 and 2016 if age 50 or over; plus, Employer non-elective contributions up to 25% of compensation.”

That amounts to $180,000 to $240,000 saved over 10 years.

The good news does not stop there. You can contribute the maximum when you are fat with cash.

Save nothing in lean years as needed.

An individual 401(k) is for you if you earn money on side jobs or a business solely owned by you outside of your salaried employment.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — Is This Retirement Plan Good for Me?

You may contribute to an individual 401(k) if you have no employees except for your spouse.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — Can I Contribute to This Type of Plan?

This plan is not for you if you are not already financially stable. You must go into this with the intention of keeping all of the money into the account until you reach age 59 ½. You will be hit with a 10% early withdrawal penalty, and income taxes. There are a few penalty-free exceptions...

  • First home purchase
  • College expenses
  • Eviction or foreclosure averting payments
  • Some medical expenses

But don’t go into this if you think that there is a chance you will have to Bogart the money.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — When Can I Grab My Money From My Plan?

If you need to rob your individual 401(k) piggy bank such that you would be hit with taxes and a penalty you are far better off to take out a loan. You can loan yourself up to $50K or half of the account balance whichever is less.

Make sure that the use is not one that the IRS considers to be a “ hardship withdrawal .” These include funeral expenses and large medical costs.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — Can I Grab My Money Before I Retire?

Stocks offer the highest expected return, by far, over bonds. The best investments are rising stocks that continue to rise.

There are two valid approaches to stock investing.

The first is value investing. The second is momentum investing.

A value investor buys stocks that have been dropping. It is important to understand that 99.99% of dropping stocks are worthless stocks of no value.

Contrarians are value investors.

You have to wait and watch for the signs that a dropping stocks has recovered on solid earnings to find a true value stock. Again most dropping stocks are fool’s gold chased by dumb money.

The second method is far more profitable in expected return than value.

Momentum stocks are rising into new price highs.

Once you find a strongly rising momentum or value stock you can increase potential gains (and losses) with deep in the money calls. A futures option or contract can be used in an external account as portfolio insurance in down turns.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — How Can I Best Invest My Saved Cash?

You are best off with a Roth IRA and a standard individual 401(k) plus an employer sponsored 401(k). Just make sure that you back out the contribution made to your employer sponsored 401(k) before contributing to your individual 401(k).

When you pay taxes on the 401(k) for withdrawals in retirement you will be paying at your long term capital gains rate.

This can be as low as 0%.

Your income will drop in retirement as your actively earned income evaporates. With your Roth IRA in place you can choose to some degree how much tax you want to pay up to the age of mandatory withdrawals at 70 ½.

These are the rates fro 2016 according to the IRS, “The tax rate on most net capital gain is no higher than 15% for most taxpayers. Some or all net capital gain may be taxed at 0% if you are in the 10% or 15% ordinary income tax brackets. However, a 20% tax rate on net capital gain applies to the extent that a taxpayer’s taxable income exceeds the thresholds set for the 39.6% ordinary tax rate ($413,200 for single; $464,850 for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $439,000 for head of household, and $232,425 for married filing separately).

There are a few other exceptions where capital gains may be taxed at rates greater than 15%:

  • The taxable part of a gain from selling section 1202 qualified small business stock is taxed at a maximum 28% rate.
  • Net capital gains from selling collectibles (such as coins or art) are taxed at a maximum 28% rate.
  • The portion of any un-recaptured section 1250 gain from selling section 1250 real property is taxed at a maximum 25% rate.
Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — How Am I Going to Get Taxed Retired?

The individual 401(k) plan is for you if you are a person who is constantly building multiple streams of income solely or in addition to a salaried job. An individual 401(k) is not for you if you and your spouse only earn income from salaried jobs. In that case you should consider a Roth IRA. Actually in either case you should open a Roth IRA.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — How Can I Check If This Is For Me?

Make sure you open a fully self-directed individual 401(k) plan such as that offered by TDAmeritrade for self-employed professionals. Do not open your account if the provider tries to push you into a menu driven plan. Compare the setup costs with TDAmeritrade and other large providers of fully self-directed 401(k) plans. Not every provider offers loans on your individual 401(k) plan — TDAmeritrade does. Make sure you have the option to take a loan if you need to.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — How Do I Administer My Individual 401k?

If you receive W-2 Income from part time work outside of your salaried job or as the sole proprietor of a business with no employees, you can set up a solo 401(k) for you and your spouse. It is important to understand the following roles most of which you will occupy.


Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC) 401 deals with your solo 401(k) plan. But it does not have any restrictions on who can be a trustee for our Solo 401(k).

The trustee manages the cash and investment positions of a trust. The solo 401(k) allows you to be the trustee of your 401(k).


The administrator of your 401(k) does the record keeping in your filing cabinet. You can be your plan administrator and trustee at the same time.


This is you.


This is your spouse automatically. Unless forms are filed explaining why otherwise.


In a typical trust banks act as custodians for a fee — sometimes ridiculously large — for doing nothing more than accept custody.

But… the Solo 401(k) needs no stinking custodian


Taking a loan is generally a better idea than taking a non-qualified withdrawal. The loan is at a low rate and avoids taxes and penalties.

Cuts to a tour of my solo 401(k) account and forms.

Maximizing Your individual 401(k) Plan — Understanding the Different 401k Roles!

Bonus Lecture: My Special Udemy Coupon Offer to You

Bonus Lecture: My Special Udemy Coupon Offer to You

These questions are intended to determine if you recall the key points of opening and running your individual solo 401k plan.

Testing Your Knowledge of Your Individual Solo 401K Maximization Plan!
10 questions
About the Instructor
Scott Brown
3.5 Average rating
659 Reviews
21,978 Students
28 Courses
Major State University Finance Professor, Investments Expert

"There is no one like you that I know of who is this transparent, that is what makes your service and education so valuable. Please keep on." -L.B. A Washington State Stock Investor

Dr. Scott Brown and “Intelligent Investing” — helping you get the most out of your hard earned investment capital.

As an investor, I have spent over 35 years reading anecdotal accounts of the greatest investors and traders in history. My net worth has grown dramatically by applying the distilled wisdom of past giants.

I have researched and tested what works in the world’s most challenging capital markets — and I teach you every trick I know in my Udemy courses!

>>>Learn from leading financial experts!

>>> How about discovering how I have tripled family member’s accounts in six years with simple stock picks?

>>> Want to master set and forget limit stop loss tactics for sound sleep?

>>> Does Forexinterest you?

>>>Is your employer sponsored 401(k) plan optimized?

>>>Do you know the fastest rising highest dividend yielding common stock shares in the market today?

>>> High roller? How would you like to know how to dramatically lever your savings with deep-in-the-money call options?

Enrollin my Udemy courses — you can prosper from all of this — plus much, much more now!

(In the last six years we have exploded our net worth and are absolutely debt free, we live a semi-retired Caribbeanlifestyle in atriple gatedupscale planned community from a spacious low maintenance condo looking down on our tropical beach paradise below).

My Curriculum Vitae:

Investment Writing and Speaking:

I am an internationalspeaker oninvestments. In 2010 I gave a series of lectures onboard Brilliance of the Seas as a guest speaker on their Mediterranean cruise. Financial topics are normally forbidden for cruise speakers. But with me they make an exception because of my financial pedigree.

On day 6 the topic I discussed was “Free and Clear: Secrets of Safely Investing in Real Estate!“ The day 7 topic was “Investment Style and Category: How the Stock Market Really Works!” Then on day 8 I spoke about “The 20% Solution: How to Survive and Thrive Financially in any Market!” The final talk on day 11 was “Value Investing for Dummies: When Dumb Money is Smart!

Gina Verteouris is the Cruise Programs Administrator of the Brilliance of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Regarding my on-board teachings she writes on June 19th, “You have really gone above and beyond expectations with your lectures and we have received many positive comments from our Guests.”

I sponsored and organized an investing conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2011 under my Wallet Doctor brand. This intimate conference was attended by 14 paying attendees.

As such many strides were made in financial education that week. For instance I met a woman who is a retired engineer from the Reno, Nevada area.

She made a fortune on deep in the money calls during the bull markets of the 90s.

This humble and retired engineer inspired me to look more seriously at deep in the money calls with far expiration. She also gave me an important clue regarding trading volume.

Her call option and volume insights have been confirmed in the Journal of Finance.

In 2012 I gave a workshop at the FreedomFest Global Financial Summit on stock investing at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort. I was also a panelist on a discussion of capital markets.

My course “How to Build a Million Dollar Portfolio from Scratch" at the Oxford Club is an international bestseller. In 2014 I co-authored “Tax Advantaged Wealth” with leading IRS expert Jack Cohen, CPA. This was the crown jewel of the Oxford Club Wealth Survival Summit.

I have been a regular speaker at the Investment U Conferences.

In 2012 I gave a workshop entitled “How to Increase Oxford Club Newsletter Returns by 10 Fold!” The conference was held at the Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, California. This resort destination is rated #1 on TripAdvisor.

In 2013 I spoke at the Oxford Club’s Investment U Conference in San Diego California. The talk was entitled “The Best Buy Signal in 103 Years!” Later in the summer I spoke at the Oxford Club Private Wealth Conference at the Ojai Valley Inn.

This was at the same time that Jimmy Kimmel married Molly McNearney in the posh California celebrity resort. It was fun to watch some of the celebrities who lingered.

I also operate a live weekly investment mentorship subscription service under the Bullet-Proof brand every Monday night by GoToWebinar.

Academic Research:

I am an associate professor of finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business at the University of Puerto Rico. My research appears in some of the most prestigious academic journals in the field of investments including the Journal of Financial Research and Financial Management. This work is highly regarded on both Main Street and Wall Street. My research on investment newsletter returns was considered so important to investors that it was featured in the CFA Digest.

The Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)is the most prestigious practitioner credential in investments on Wall Street.

Prestigious finance professor Bill Christie of the Owen School of Business of Vanderbilt University and then editor of Financial Management felt that our study was valuable to financial society. We showed that the average investment newsletter is not worth the cost of subscription.

I am the lead researcher on the Puerto Rico Act 20 and 22 job impact study. This was signed between DDEC secretary Alberto Bacó and Chancellor Severino of the University of Puerto Rico.

(See Brown, S., Cao-Alvira, J. & Powers, E. (2013). Do Investment Newsletters Move Markets? Financial Management, Vol. XXXXII, (2), 315-338. And see Brown, S., Powers, E., & Koch, T. (2009). Slippage and the Choice of Market or Limit orders in Futures Trading. Journal of Financial Research, Vol. XXXII (3), 305-309)

Graduate Degrees:

I hold a Ph.D. in Finance from the AACSB Accredited Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina. My dissertation on futures market slippage was sponsored by The Chicago Board of Trade. Eric Powers, Tim Koch, and Glenn Harrison composed my dissertation committee. Professor Powers holds his Ph.D. in finance from the Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]. Eric is a leading researcher in corporate finance and is a thought leader in spin offs and carve outs.

Dr. Harrison is the C.V. Starr economics professor at the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.

He holds his doctorate in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Glenn is a thought leader in experimental economics and is the director of the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk.

Tim Koch is a professor of banking. Dr. Koch holds his Ph.D. in finance from Purdue University and is a major influence in the industry.

My dissertation proved that under normal conditions traders and investors are better off entering on market while protectingwith stop limit orders. The subsequent article was published in the prestigious Journal of Financial Research now domiciled at Texas Tech University — a leading research institution.

I earned a masters in international financial management from the Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Business. Thunderbird consistently ranks as the #1 international business school in the U.S. News & World Report, and BloombergBusinessWeek.

Academic Conferences:

I spoke at the 2010 annual conference of the International Association of Business and Economics (IABE) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research presented facts regarding price changes as orders flow increases in the stock market by advisory services.

I spoke at the 2010 Financial Management Association [FMA] annual conference in New York on investment newsletters. The paper was later published in the prestigious journal “Financial Management.”

I presented an important study named “Do Investment Newsletters Move Markets?” at the XLVI Annual Meeting of the Consejo Latinoamericano de Escuelas de Administración (CLADEA) in 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The year before that I presented my futures slippage research at a major renewable energy conference in Ubatuba, Brazil.

I spoke at the Clute International Conferences in 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research dealt with the price impact of newsletter recommendations in the stock market.

I presented a working paper entitled “The Life Cycle of Make-whole Call Provisions” at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Southern Finance Association in Fajardo, Puerto Rico in session B.2 Debt Issues chaired by Professor LeRoy D. Brooks of John Carroll University. Luis Garcia-Feijoo of Florida Atlantic University was the discussant. I chaired the session entitled “Credit And Default Risk: Origins And Resolution.” Then I was the discussant for research entitled "NPL Resolution: Bank-Level Evidence From A Low Income Country" by finance professor Lucy Chernykh of Clemson University and Abu S Amin of Sacred Heart University and Mahmood Osman Imam of the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

That same year I presented the same study to the Annual Meeting of the Financial Management Association in Chicago, Illinois. I did so in session 183 – Topics in Mergers and Acquisitions chaired by James Conover of the University of North Texas with Teresa Conover as discussant. I chaired session 075 – Financial Crisis: Bank Debt Issuance and Fund Allocation. Then I was the discussant for TARP Funds Distribution: Evidence from Bank Internal Capital Markets by Elisabeta Pana of Illinois Wesleyan University and Tarun Mukherjee of the University of New Orleans.

Academic Service:

I am a member of the MBA Curriculum Review Committee, the MBA Admissions Committee, The Doctoral Finance Admissions Committee, the Graduate School Personnel Committee, and the Doctoral Program Committee of the School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico.

Financial Journalism:

I am the editor of Momentum Investor Magazine. I co-founded the magazine with publisher Daniel Hall, J.D. We have published three issues so far. Momentum Investor Magazine allows me to interview very important people in the finance industry. I interview sub director Suarez of the DDEC responsible for the assignment of Puerto Rico act 20 and 22 licenses for corporate and portfolio tax reduction in the third edition. Then I interview renowned value investor Mohnish Prabia in the upcoming fourth edition — to be made available via Udemy. Valuable stock market information will be taught throughout.


In October of 2010 I arranged for the donation to The Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico of $67,248 worth of financial software to the department that has been used in different courses. This was graciously awarded by Gecko Software.

I have guided thousands of investors to superior returns. I very much look forward to mentoring you as to managing your investments to your optima! –Scott

Dr. Scott Brown, Associate Professor of Finance of the AACSB Accredited Graduate School of Business of the University of Puerto Rico.