I’m not sure what the demographics are like on this site, especially since I don’t pay any mind to statistics and have a general disdain for that sort of thing–placing people into neatly fit boxes and the like. But I get the sense that a great many of you are under the tender age of 47.5. As you know, anyone older than 47.5 is strictly prohibited from viewing this blog and shall be executed on site, if caught doing so. Furthermore, it is the age at which “The Fly” will retire from blogging, pass on the crown to a younger, more deserving, trader/investor, who will carry on the traditions of financial debauchery, until he relinquishes said throne at 47.5 years of age.
When I was younger, I used to stuff money into envelopes, budgeting for the months’ expenses. One envelope was for “rent”, another for “electricity” and so on and so forth. I spent all of the money that I had, save my investments in the market, which I smartly spared due to keeping the dream alive, supporting a child and wife. I was in my early 20s and the market was an unforgiving monster. I couldn’t handle the volatility and money was tight for a long time.
I recall one New Year’s, being as happy as a troll inside of the comments section, because I had taken home the enormous sum of $4,250. Back then, I thought it was all the money in the world. Soon after New Year’s, my 8 month old son, wife and myself celebrated over dinner at the local diner. I might’ve ordered a “Romanian steak.” The whole meal had to cost no more than $50. But it was a luxury for me, as I was accustomed to living lean and eating even leaner.
As time went on and the market improved, so did my paychecks. I moved out of the basement apartment, which I rented from a bastard of a landlord, and into a brownstone. It took me a long time to move, since I always felt the good times wouldn’t last. A friend of mine, who started the business the same time as me, used to park his brand new Mercedes in my driveway–right outside my basement apartment. He spent his money as fast as he made it. He achieved success faster than me; but his didn’t last as long.
Soon enough, the checks grew from $4,250 to $10,000 to $50,000 per month and so on and so forth. It’s true when they say “the more you make, the more you spend.” Last month we spent upwards of $3,500 on groceries alone. We didn’t buy anything exotic or elaborate, just ordinary meat and vegetables from the local Whole Foods. We are consumers at heart. I think it has a lot to do with mortality and our desire to live the best with the time that we have here. Only a handful of us are able to save a lot of money. Most of the people I know would be flat broke, if it weren’t for their enormous monthly paychecks. Gone are the days of frugality, when people saved for rainy days and put money aside for their children’s inheritance.
These days, I’m afraid the stock market is used to finance the personal pyramid schemes people have going on. They spend so much money on gratuitous items; but make it all up in a week or two at the races, also known as the stock market. Either way, this is an unsustainable way to live. Get your lives in order, man, else you’ll be singing the blues when this hit parade ends.
We talk about making money a lot here and have plenty of talented traders present to help you make more money. But no one tells you to ease up on the drunken spending sprees. You’re gonna regret it one day, as I’ve once regretted my debaucherous ways. It took a second wind to give my boat another go around, something I am grateful for. It’s not often that people are given a second chance at success. Most of the time you’re given that chance, through hard work or luck; and if you blow it, it’s gone forever. My grandfather comes to mind when thinking about that subject, a story for another day.
The moral of the story is: set up trust accounts, SEP IRA’s, invest in property before you buy that new Benz. Be smart and try not to live your whole life now, for it’s going to last a long time and you’ll need some of that worthless fiat cash to get you through the latter years.