From:
North of Jewfish Creek

Dear Friend & Subscriber,

A good man has died.

His name is Bobby. And, in this letter, I am not going to write very much about him. Perhaps I will in a future newsletter. But, not now.

That's because right now I feel I'm too close to the subject of his death to write about it. I met him a few times but, I can't say I was really ever close to him. However, I am very close to one of his daughters. That would be my #1 Assistant, Theresa.

I've had some experience with people who have had terminal cancer.

In his case, I didn't expect he would live long enough to see his granddaughter's wedding which was scheduled for last August. He did live long enough to be there though.

After that, I knew he couldn't possibly survive until Thanksgiving. When he survived to Thanksgiving, I knew it was certain he couldn't possibly continue on until Christmas. But Christmas came and he again proved me wrong.

Bobby outlived his doctors' and nurses' expectations of never seeing the New Year. His mind and body continued enduring till almost Superbowl Sunday.

I think all of this is more evidence of a fact I sometimes am reluctant to admit. That fact is, it seems my mother was correct when she named me "Gary" instead of "God".

A brief story: At this time last year, one of my in-laws was diagnosed with fatal cancer of the liver. He had a rare blood type and it was extremely unlikely a donor could be found in time to save his life. Even if by some miracle a donor was found, the chances of this man living a healthy life (or just plain living) were not very favorable.

This is a man for whom almost everybody who knew him was already emotionally prepared for his death which almost certainly would occur within a few months. At the same time he was diagnosed with liver cancer, Theresa's father was a strapping 230-pound man seemingly in perfect health.

As it has come to pass, my in-law DID receive a new liver from someone with the same blood type, his body seems to have accepted it well, and he is now leading a healthy life, which includes running several miles a day.

And, as I said at the beginning of this letter, that strapping 230-pound man, Theresa's father, is no longer with us.

If there is one last thing I am certain about in today's world it is...

Uncertainty!

Anyone who thinks they can predict the future for ten years, one year, one month, one day, one hour, or even one minute will, sooner or later, have fate prove him (or her) to be a fool.

Remember the words "yesterday is dead and gone" and "tomorrow's out of sight"? They were true when they were written about 40 years ago, they were true 4,000 years ago, and they are still true today. So, if you have someone you love or are fond of (or at least you appreciate) I suggest you let them know NOW. Next week, tomorrow, or even this evening might prove to be too late.

There is a lot to Bobby Canady's story but, I'm going to sum up what I know about him in one word...

Decent.

As I said, perhaps I'll write more about him later but, not now.

You see, Theresa temporarily moved out of State to be by her father's side and devoted her time 24/7 to be his nurse. So, there are hundreds of e-mails, faxes, letters and phone calls which have gone unanswered. And since we used another service for fulfillment,there have also been some mix-ups in orders. Because "Yours Truly" is so dysfunctional, so many everyday things have simply gone by the wayside.

But, now that Theresa is back at her desk, we're going to start digging out of this mess and, after a while, perhaps we'll have our world back in order.

I want to ask you a favor: If you have an e-mail which hasn't been responded to, or any other kind of communication which hasn't been answered, or any other business detail not responded to by my office, please do NOT contact us immediately. Do NOT ask us to reply and correct this situation right now. The favor I want to ask is... give us two or three weeks "breathing room" to get to where we can see a little daylight. Then, perhaps we can, once again, begin dealing with our daily workload with some semblance of timeliness.

Enough of that. Let's now write a newsletter. The subject of this one is...

Money!

Do you think you know a lot about money? Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. But let's see if any of the following facts are in any way surprising to you:

  1. More of our fantasies are about money... than sex.
  2. If we could have any luxury in the world (and money didn't matter) more of us would choose to spend money on a butler and a maid than anything else.
  3. 90% of Americans who own pets buy them Christmas gifts.
  4. Money is the leading cause of disagreements in marriages.
  5. 65% of Americans would live on a deserted island all by themselves for an entire year for $1,000,000.
  6. For $10,000,000 most of us would do almost ANYTHING! Including abandoning our family and friends and our church. A very high percentage of us would, for that same amount of money, change our race or sex. And, 1 in every 14, would even murder someone for ten million bucks.

    What's really strange about this is, the statistics remain the same whether it's ten million dollars all the way down to three million. For three million bucks, most of us would do the same horrible things we would do for ten million. But, guess what? Few of us would do these things for a "measly" two million.
  7. 92% of us would rather be rich than find the love of our lives.
  8. Here's a weighty one: Money (or the lack thereof) is the biggest stress inducer in the lives of Americans. We worry more about money than our marriages, our health, or even who's going to win the Superbowl Game or come out on top in the latest Survivor TV show.
  9. If you get your money out of a Hitachi ATM machine in Japan, it will be laundered. The way they do it is, they briefly press the bills between rollers at high enough temperatures to kill most bacteria.
  10. Women have very fixed ideas on how much they are willing to spend on a bra. 38.3% of women won't spend $30 for a bra. 28.4% won't spend $50. 10% would pay as much as $75. And, only 3.5% would shell out $100. But, you know what? Almost 20% of women say they would pay almost anything for a bra. This is because they consider (and I guess so do a few men) that the contents of what those bras are encasing is of extremely high-value.
  11. Nearly half of the people who sell their houses with furniture included will take all the light bulbs out of all the lamps when they vacate the premises.
  12. Most people won't bend over to pick up money lying on the sidewalk unless it's at least a dollar.
  13. Most Americans think pennies are a pain in the ass and the U.S. Mint should stop making them.
  14. There is about 405 billion dollars in circulation. Only 32 million of that amount is counterfeit. That means, the percentage of counterfeit money in America is .0079%. And, $20 bills are more often counterfeited than $100 bills.
  15. Do people care if their bills are crisp? Indeed, they do. Fresh, crisp, clean bills are considered much more valuable than those which are old, wrinkled and dirty.

    I once sent a 'dollar bill thank you' letter to a guy who sent a sincere letter back to me bitching the free $1 bill I sent him was wrinkled instead of crisp as I had described in the letter.
  16. Let's flip a coin and try to guess whether it will come up heads or tails. Three times as many people guess 'heads' than 'tails'.
  17. Here's one I personally think really sucks: One out of every four Americans believe their best chance of getting rich is by playing the lottery.
  18. How about this one for a shocking fact: 5% of lottery ticket buyers buy 51% of all tickets sold. (Trust me, none of these people belong to the "Einsteins of America Society".)
  19. A staggering 74% of us are influenced by how much we can win in a lottery as opposed to the odds of us winning.
  20. That's a good thing for the Government because the odds of winning a lottery jackpot are about 10 million to 1.
  21. A person who drives 10 miles to buy a lottery ticket is 3 times more likely to be killed in a car accident while driving to buy the ticket... than... he is to win the jackpot.
  22. Sunday newspaper coupon inserts are the second-most read section of the paper, after the front page.
  23. Few people know it but, you can buy single-disease insurance.
  24. Only 6% of people in America regularly buy clothes tailor made just for them.
  25. Here's one that's really important: 63% of us decide NOT to buy a product advertised on the Internet... because... we think the shipping and handling charges add too much to the order.
  26. Eight times as many Americans would rather use an ATM than deal with a real live teller.
  27. This one's going to blow your mind: 83% of Americans still pay with checks instead of credit cards!
  28. Almost 30% of us say we would need 3 million smackaroos to feel rich. This ties in with the fact most of us would do anything for as little as $3 million... but... not nearly as many of us would do those identical things for a measly $2 million. (Hey, here's your chance to take advantage of that situation. If you only want to pay $2 million to have something done, ask me if I'll do it. The chances are, believe it or not, I WILL DO IT.)
  29. Here's another fact which is really, really important: 80% of Americans say giving personal information (especially their credit card information) over the Internet scares the living shit out of them.
  30. Two-thirds of Americans say they wouldn't let their spouse spend the night and have sex with another person for a million dollars. Many of these people are liars. There's a big difference being asked if they would do it for a million dollars... as opposed to... handing them a paper sack containing the million fungolas and simply saying, "Here, you can have this if you'll let me sleep with your sweetie tonight."
  31. The average wedding in America costs a staggering $20,000.00.
  32. More than one-third of American women consider money more important than good sex to the success of a marriage.
  33. According to Employee Benefits Research Institute 96% of all people who have jobs right now won't be eligible for their full Social Security benefits when they reach age 65.
  34. When it comes to houses, more than anything else, people want a state-of-the-art kitchen.
  35. When people shop for a car, what they want more than anything else is reliability for the best possible price.
  36. One of the best ways to raise money for a charity is to have a free dinner for a lot of people and have an empty envelope tucked under their plate... for the express purpose... of making whatever size donation they want.
  37. People tip more on sunny days than they do on dreary days.
  38. More than 80,000,000 people call the I.R.S. Information Hotline phone number every year. One-third of those calls go unanswered. And, according to the Treasury Department itself, 47% of the answers the 'get-through' callers receive are incorrect.
  39. Almost two out of three people have modified their financial behavior because of their fears.
  40. Almost three times as many people who live in the South worry about losing their jobs as compared to people who live in the Midwest.
  41. Which would you rather do: Shop till you drop... or... have great sex?

    For men, this is a no-brainer.

    However, more women would actually rather have an unlimited shopping spree than spend a weekend with a fabulous lover. In fact, the #1 favorite fantasy of women is to have a blank check to shop at their favorite store.

    The favorite fantasy of men (at least in my opinion) is what we would like to DO to the sales girl... rather than... what we would like to buy from her.

Why am I so focused on money this month? Plain and simple... because...

I Need Some!

Seven months of trying to function without my Assistant taking care of my business has put a severe dent in my financial situation. I think maybe in the near future, I'm going to give a low-priced seminar which will be so tightly focused on making money, a lot of people (at least if they are not out buying bras) will pay me to attend. I'm still mulling it over and if I decide to do it, I'll write to you about it soon.

  Sincerely,
 
   Gary C. Halbert
  "Cheaper Than Three Million"

P.S.

By the way, the somewhat "Halbertized" facts in this newsletter were inspired from a book by Bernice Kanner titled "Are You Normal About Money?" She's written a number of other interestingly-titled books and I suggest you put her name into your search engine and see what you come up with. I'm sure there's going to be something you're going to want to buy.

P.S.#2

This is one of my rare newsletters which does not give my readers a clear course of action. Rather, it is meant to jump-start their sluggish brains. And I'll make you a bet: I bet a few people reading this newsletter e-mail me and tell me one or more of the facts in this issue jump-started their brains with a great idea... that... made huge amounts of fungolas for them.

Except for a guy named David Allard. I don't think there's anything I can do to get his sluggish brain going. And I'll tell you more about him in an upcoming issue.

  Peace.

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Copyright 2004 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.