Things the Recession Taught Me About Money

Well, all the indications are that the US economy is recovering, and although that probably doesn’t matter a whole lot to the people of Peru directly, I’m sure many of the Americans living in Peru are letting out a great sigh of relief.

Sure, there are many of you who are also ready to start arguing that the US is on a meteoric path to fire and destruction, that everything’s going to hell, that the dollar is going to collapse in favor of the Amero (the combination currency of the Peso and the Dollar….absurd).  However, although many of these ideas are unfounded, it’s important not to dismiss them all entirely out of hand because…after all, the trends of the market are determined by the hysteria of the masses (that’s a pretty damn good quote there), so you need to be aware of these hysterias.
Most people labor all their lives with the hope that at some point they’ll be able to relax for a couple years and enjoy themselves.  Generally, they end up in shitty jobs which they hate and which take them away from their families, and they diligently put their money into some fund that some banker tells them about which they don’t understand…and then they get ready to retire with this nice little piggy bank of cash when…POOF…Bernie Madoff runs off with billions (including their meager savings) and instead of retiring for a year or two, these people have to head back off to the job they hate where they continue to bang their heads against the wall until they die.
Pathetic story really.
My friend Owen had a good line on this.  He said that all those elderly people who were robbed of their retirement by corrupt asshole wallstreet people should just get their hands on a rifle and kill as many of them as they can…the idea being that a jail cell is as comfortable as any bed they can afford, and while they’re incarcerated they’ll also have access to free medical care, meals, and who knows what other niceties.
Of course, I’m still young enough to (hopefully) avoid these pitfalls, so like every diligent American, I’ve been daydreaming about how to get ahead and stay ahead.
Back in 2008 when the US market (as measured by the DOW) went from 14,000 to 8,000 (or whatever the lowpoint was…I quit watching).  I knew intellectually that you COULDN’T take your money out.  However, that didn’t stop millions of people from doing exactly that.  It’s funny that the first rule of investing is buy low sell high, but when push comes to shove, people’s own hysterias force them to do the exact opposite.  I waited things out, and ever since Obama got elected, I’ve had a huge rebound in investments, but that hasn’t erased my doubt of the stock market.  My current investment philosophy is that the next time the DOW gets near 14,000, I’m selling everything (and I’m putting the money into something simple like some online bank 5% earning savings account…the kind that existed when the DOW was at 14,000 and which have ceased to exist subsequently).
The thing about cash though, is that it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  Everybody bows down at the altar of the all-mighty dollar, and few people stop to think that an actual physical paper dollar is COMPLETELY WORTHLESS!  Sure, it has value because people THINK it has value…but what happens when people stop thinking it has value?  Add to that the prospect of inflation, and the general wackiness of people, and you start to see how dangerous it is to have any of your assets tied up in money.
So what’s the answer?
Well, the first good idea seems to be investing in education.  The thing about education is that (provided you don’t have some massive head trauma) you can’t ever take that away.  If you have an education, you should be able to get a job (unless you get an education in something stupid like English literature…like I did).  Getting a job is important because it allows you to gather up whatever the currency is of the day, be it the American dollar, or bartered goods, or human teeth…whatever…you’ll have it and that means that you can EAT!
But at the same time that education is a good investment, there’s also the problem that with only an education, you still have to WORK.  And since work requires your interaction with assholes…it’d be better if you could figure out a way to make your assets work for you without you doing anything (or at least something minimal).
Another good place to put your money is therefore in a business.  Something that generates some revenue at the same time that the business grows in value.  Again, this gives you something to exchange beyond simple money which we have already determined is too fickle to be trustworthy.
Another item that is always going to have some sort of value (as opposed to money which can become instantly worthless from one day to the next) is LAND!  People are always going to need a place to sleep, so if you have some land in your name, chances are you’ll be able to get SOMETHING for it should the economy collapse (provided of course that you are capable of defending your land if somebody should come and try to take it by force…but you can’t worry about EVERYTHING).
One more good investment item?  Gold.  And not paper bullshit gold that can’t be turned in for real gold (that’s the same as paper money) NOPE, go out and buy some real gold bullion, those kind of heavy bars like James Bond uses to entice Goldfinger.  Again, gold is something that they’re not making any more of, and it’s always going to have a stronger value than the dollar (because they’re constantly just printing up more of those damn dollars…thus making all the dollars you have worth LESS).
Seriously, get as much as you can out of your money…and get rid of it!  Buy education, land, a profitable business, and gold.
If you just take your weekly earnings and turn them over to some bullshit investor, you’re essentially just stamping your ticket for a lifetime of slavery (unless…that is…you give it to ME…now I’LL take great care of it).

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Are you saying that Obama being in office is responsible for the market rebounding some, you must be crazy. Obama supporter are just lazy and that is a fact!!! If you support Obama then you think it is someone elses job to provide for you, FACT!! Obama is about distroying the very fabric of this nation. If he could he would throw out the constitution and do what he thinks is best. Obama is just as bad as George Bush!!!!!!!!!

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