You cannot imagine the kind of articles I run across about money. Today, a small window into my inbox. I think you’ll admire me for not turning into a homicidal maniac considering I read 50+ of these every day.
1. “She suggests peppering your teen with daily finance texts…”
Let’s start off with this post from ING Direct.
This …financial educator…”thinks parents should use this to their advantage and harness the teens’ texting obsession to help them learn about money. [She] suggests peppering your teen with daily finance texts, because guess what? They’ll actually read them. Some of her suggestions for clueless parents include little gems like:
- “Just deposited ur allowance to ur checking account. JW how much money u want to deposit in ur savings account?”
- “TTYL about wat ur going to do with ur bday money from gma and gpa. LTS. 2nite at dinner?”
Ramit’s comment: I am going to supply my future children with a gun and ask them to summarily kill me if I ever do this.
2. Young clueless Redditor has no understanding of how money works:
- Quote 1: “If you can’t afford to retire after making $170k for ten years or so, you are the worst money manger on the planet.”
- When challenged by minor things like taxes and costs of living, he responds with…
- Quote 2: “Ten years of $170k. Live on $70 (still far better off than most!). You’ve got one point something million. Invest in corporate bonds at 6%, so you’re getting $70k per year on interest alone, forever.”
- As he gets further challenged about taxes and other issues that any ordinary person who earns money (and is not a privileged, sanctimonious college student) would understand, he responds with even more amusing logic
Ramit’s comment: Everyone has an opinion about other people’s spending. Unfortunately, not only are they indignant, they are almost always wrong. Give me 10 minutes with any of these patronizing people and I will find at least 30% of their spending that is a “waste.”
This happens a lot with smart people, especially in technology, because they see the stock market as a problem that can be broken down and out-logic’d. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Ramit’s comment: The best part is your smart friends will brag about their stock returns…but when their investments go down, suddenly they won’t be talking about their investing acumen anymore. I just nod and smile now.
4. These day traders won’t realize they’ve been losing money for years.
How can that be? How can you not realize you’re losing money for years — even decades? Just the same way that people who buy real estate can (note the haunting quote at the end).
Ramit’s comment: Another area of money where people’s beliefs in their own ability is almost religious — even when data convincingly demonstrates that almost nobody can consistently beat the market. The “But I Am A Special Snowflake!” phenomena is alive and well in America. We need a new TV show with Tiger Mom laying down the law for these people from birth.
5. Finally, my favorite.
Amidst all the turbulence, all the discord, all the staggering negative economic data, one author had the flicker of a powerful idea. This idea took years to develop as she nurtured, focused, and refined it. Finally, the result of countless hours and innumerable long nights…
- “By saving $3,000 every year — that’s $250 a month — you’ll have a nest egg of $90,000 in three decades. Those who invest and beat inflation will enjoy greater gains than others.
- “People aren’t doing this because they are obstinate or defiant. They are doing this because they don’t realize the harm they are doing themselves.”
- “Spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread and brewing a cup of coffee during the hectic morning rush are small but important financial gestures.”
Ramit’s comment: Oh my god. Do we think there’s one American who hasn’t been guilted into thinking their small $3 purchase is a horrific Satan-spawned communist idea? It’s easier to believe that people “just don’t realize the harm they are doing” than to actually dig beneath the surface. Just like fat people don’t know they’re fat, right? This canard is why personal-finance “experts” continue giving horrible advice.
Ugh. I am going to decide if I want to continue writing this blog or simply move to a deserted island, never to see the face of technology or another “expert” again. See you guys later.