Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Two News Stories That Illustrate How Stupid People Can Be With Money

Look, I know not everyone is a financial genius. I'm certainly not. But I would like to think that most people have some basic level of knowledge, some grasp of rudimentary concepts of what constitutes a good or bad financial decision. A financial equivalent, if you will, of common sense. Like "poking yourself in the eye is bad."

Sadly, the astoundingly high levels of credit card debt the average American carries (over $8,000!) seems to indicate otherwise.

The First Story

Take this story, published, appropriately enough, on the Fourth Of July:

The average length of an auto loan reached 69.3 months in June. That's over five and three-quarters years! For a car loan!

Let me put this another way: That's an almost six year loan to pay for something that has a crazy high depreciation rate! Someone who takes an auto loan for this amount of time will be underwater on the loan immediately and will continue to be underwater for probably 3.5 years, minimum. Yay, America!

I know not everyone can pay cash for a car. I get that it's tough to save money. But come on! If you have to take out a six year car loan in order to get the monthly payments to be something you can afford, then guess what? YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE CAR!

The Second Story

This one is even worse. Actually, there are a couple headlines, but they all say the same thing:

Sweet mother of god!

Are you serious?

People are actually putting their retirement savings into a virtual currency? Into.. nothing?! Why don't you just invest your life savings in tulips?

I have no words. When you start seeing headlines like these, you know we are in a bubble.

Please please please. PLEASE. Do NOT invest your retirement savings in cryptocurrency!

I'm not saying cryptocurrencies won't last or won't take off. In the interest of full disclosure, I recently purchased a bit of one cryptocurrency - Etherium. But I bought a small amount using money I could afford to lose. I bought it with gambling money, not my retirement savings!

Because that's what cryptocurrencies are right now - a gamble!

How'd you like to have your retirement savings invested in Etherium and wake up to this (actual) headline:

Come on people. Start making smart financial decisions. Stop poking yourself in the eye.


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