Plymouth’s Wealth Enhancement Group founder releases third book on finance
In today’s economy it’s especially important to be efficient and careful with personal finances. And it can be confusing when making decisions about how to build assets and manage accounts.
Bruce Helmer, co-founder of Plymouth’s Wealth Enhancement Group and host of weekly WCCO radio show, “Your Money,” shares advice in his new book “Real Wealth.”
The book is Helmer’s third in the financial advising genre and was released through Beaver’s Pond Press Jan. 17.
The 53-year-old financial adviser began his career as a teacher, and shortly switched his focus on finance.
“I discovered that in my space that I’m still teaching, but I’m teaching a captive audience,” Helmer said. “I don’t have to be a disciplinarian. Kids in school don’t want to be there. In the financial services industry, I am a teacher and the people I talk to come to me and they want to be there and learn.”
“Real Wealth” is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and on brucehelmer.com. His radio show can be heard Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on WCCO.
Q: Could you provide a synopsis of the new book?
A: People ask me what’s different about it, which is a question I get a lot. When you go into a Barnes and Noble, the shelves are full of personal finance books. So what’s left to be written?
I’ve read a lot of them, and I know what author write about. I think what makes “Real Wealth” different and consistent with the philosophy of our company is that it doesn’t start with how to invest money. It starts with what’s important to you, your values and why you are reading this book. Something is motivating you, what are you trying to accomplish?
Whether it’s family, a church or charity, everybody has certain values and that’s where we start the financial planning process. What do you actually want, how do you want to enrich your life? And when we know that, then the investment and financial planning is the easy part.
Money is not the end all goal, money is just a tool to achieve life enrichment. In whatever that means to people.
Q: What spurred you to write this book?
A: There’s a common theme in all three books; I always write from the perspective that financial planning starts with values and goals, not with stocks and mutual funds.
I would pick up my second book on occasion and start reading a paragraph and think “damn, this is good, how come more people didn’t buy this book?”
I thought I really wrote something that was different, unique and profound. And it didn’t sell anywhere near where I wanted it to.
At the end of the day, I know that you don’t write a book to make money and that you probably won’t make money. I didn’t write it to get rich, I wrote it because I’m passionate and motivated to educate people. Whether that’s through my radio show, giving a speech or working one on one with clients. In this case it’s a book. I want to touch more people and educate more people.
Q: How could this book realistically put more money in people’s bank accounts? And are there strategies in here that can work for people of all classes?
A: Marketing people and public relations people always tell me “if you write a book, you have to be focused and write it at a specific group.”
I don’t know how to do that. I write concepts that I think have universal appeal. I think someone worth $100 million could read this and gain from it, and I think somebody struggling to make rent could read it and gain from it.
Part of it is financial strategies, but part of it gets back to if they can have an epiphany and say “that makes sense, I’m not doing that right now.”
And it might not even be financial; it could be ‘what am I trying to accomplish here?’
Q: A lot has change economically in the past five years in America. As you see it, what is the biggest threat to most people’s wealth today?
A: The stock market obviously got decimated in 2008. Historically, certain asset classes have a converse relationship. If stocks are bad, maybe foreign stocks and bonds are okay. Usually there could be a safe harbor for us to shift assets so we don’t get bloodied so badly.
In 2008, more than any year in my 30-year career, every asset class got decimated. There was no safe harbor. So most people are still trying to recovery just to get back to where they were in 2008.
And I think the biggest threat is the dysfunctionality of our political process; this gridlock and unwillingness to compromise and get things done.
Q: Any key tips?
A: If you can do anything to start [investing], even it may not seem like much, do it. Maybe you can scrape together $50 a month and say ‘that’s nothing,’ but it’s not nothing.
Start as soon as you can with whatever you can. And keep in mind that strategies are more important than investments.
Q: What was your overall goal with this book?
A: I’m passionate about educating the American public to be more financially successful. If the book or the radio show or anything I’ve done helps people be more efficient with their money, that’s very rewarding for me. I can’t even quantify how that tickles me.
Contact Brian Rosemeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org