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Am I an elitist pig?

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I was in New York for a few days, so back to regular posting.

I ran across this blog entry yesterday, which is pretty thought-provoking:

Ramit Sethi’s otherwise-great site I Will Teach You to Be Rich is a classic example of rich-person thinking; he assumes that people in their 20s can afford to take risks in their investments, because if worst comes to worst, we can just move in with our parents. Can all of us who have studiously avoided burdening our parents for the last 5-10 years laugh uproariously together?

The whole article has more thinking: “on becoming a capitalist pig.”

She’s right, I do think that. But is that wrong?

What do you think?

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  1. I think you’re elitist in the sense that you assume:

    a). Everyone has a good relationship with their mature mentally and financially stable parents.

    b). Twenty-somethings don’t have anything holding them back: no kids, no health issues, no addictions, no past

    c). Every one who went to school is educated

  2. I can certainly say that once I managed to move out it was a very serious pride issue to not move back in. I think I would have lived in some pretty rough conditions before I moved back home.

    The earlier poster also make an excellent point. Many people’s parents are relying on THEM for support, not the other way around. Several of my friends in college sent money home to help out.

    We all speak from our own point of view, but I think if you’re giving advice to folks you might want to consider those folks outside the 75% center.

  3. IMHO it’s also a basic characteristic of entrepreneurs that we don’t focus on the negative results, but only the positive. If you fall, you just get up again.

    And honestly even if you don’t have the parents to fall back on its still a simple matter to have a backup buffer of cash or get a menial labor job to support yourself. To achieve success a certain amount of risk needs to be taken.

  4. Holy goodness, someone found my site! Ramit, I love your site and I’m not trying to insult you. I had just always thought I’d be more comfortable taking risks as I got older, rather than risking the little I have at the moment, so your advice really surprised me. I think Jennifer’s #2 sums up the rest.

  5. If you don’t take risks with your investments, you’re not investing at all! Without risk there is no reward! However, I would be surprised if Ramit is suggesting that 20-somethings get involved in rank speculation with their meager savings.

    As far as the parents thing goes, I think I’d rather have root-canal without anesthesia than move back in with the family unit… But if some people feel comfortable doing so, more power to them.


  6. People like it when everyone acts in the herd. They don’t like to know the guy who takes risks and swings for the fences… because what if they hit a home run?

    I run a personal finance blog, it’s simple, it generates some extra cash, but my friends ridiculed me on my “nice website, haha, what a waste of time!” Then I flashed a Google Adsense check and they’ve since shut up.

    I’d rather be an elitist pig, taking risks, than a cubicle mole working the 9-to-5 for the rest of my life.

  7. I moved back in with my parents at 20 when my start-up went into a “low revenue phase” 😉

    My parents are middle-class but not especially wealthy; and at that level I think that your relationship with your parents is a more significant factor in deciding factor in whether you can rely on them for serious support.

  8. I think making a generalization about anyone because of their age is ignorant. I honestly think it’s on par with stereotyping someone because of their race. There’s too many variables in people’s lives. So far I have really enjoyed this site but since you asked, I thought I’d share.

  9. Well I dont think its elitist at all…

    I am in my very early 20s, done with college, and in grad school to pay the bills while I try out many rather risky ventures…

    there is one problem though. my family is more broke than I have ever been. Moving back in with parents would mean not knowing where my next meal would come from…

    So maybe my risks are more “risky” if you will, But I figure if I screw up I’ll just get a regular job later. lol.

    I do admit at getting annoyed when people assume I have the cusion of my parents money to support me when thats not even close to the case. But thats my own issues haha.

  10. Sorry, Ramit. Didn’t mean to start a bash fest. We all have our assumptions about how the world works. You and my freshmen have poked some holes in mine, which were:

    a). All psych majors nickel and dime it for the ‘greater good,’ not for lack of empowerment

    b). People who have fun are paying 20% APR or still getting an allowance from daddy.

    c). I need to get married because I will never be able to afford property on my own outside of Fargo, MN and owning property is the first step towards any kind of freedom

    d). If people from the ghetto don’t know something, then it is the fault of the educational system and we all need to slow down because being on the same page is ideal

    e). Rich people are middle class people who just got lucky. They were in the right place at the right time and, bam, some money just fell into their lap.