Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What would you do?

A radio station I listen to on the way to work always starts a topic of conversation every morning. Usually I listen to something else because their conversations are usually mindless dribble. This week they have had been talking about the economy so I listened in. Yes the topics were interesting but the conversations were the same old dribble. Monday it took less than a minute to find out that they didn’t know what they were talking about. The topic was 401k’s. They all three have 401k’s with the radio station where they now work. Let me stop for a second and tell you that the radio show is called “Two girls and a guy” and that is what there is.

So the first girl says that she doesn’t know how much is in hers. She then admits that she puts money in it every payday but has never looked at it. Next the guy pipes up and says that he has looked at his and knows how much is in there but has never done anything with it. This is when the third person who is always a “know it all”, speaks up and tells them how wrong they both are for doing this. Next she dishes out some really bad advice. She tells them; no way, you have to work with your stocks if you want to make money. The two students eagerly ask her what to do and this is what she said. “If I buy stocks for let’s say $14.00 a share and I see that they drop down to like $9.00 a share, I sell them and put my money elsewhere.“ Ok let me do the math here. So if you had a thousand shares at $14 a share and you sold them for $9 a share, let me see, figuring here, bring down the zero, borrow a 9….almost done here…… Wow you just lost $5,000. At this rate you will be a millionaire before you know it. Sign me up.

So Tuesday rolls around and the topic is “what would you do if the government gave us all a mortgage holiday? What would you spend the money on?” This is some crazy idea that some really stupid individual came up with. The idea is simple. You pardon everyone for a month from paying their mortgage and they get to spend the money on anything they like. It is supposed to be a way of stimulating the economy. Of course if you are the one who is expecting that mortgage payment to arrive you just got stimulated in a different way. :)

So the guy starts out saying that he would remodel his garage and turn it into a movie room. He would get a 64” plasma TV, surround sound, big comfortable chair, refrigerator, nice lighting system and all the decorations to go with it. The girls both thought it was a great idea. Ok first off just how big is his mortgage payment? I can tell you that it isn’t that big because he then said he would have to finance a little of this remodeling. I have to say that I would buy something a little more sensible.

So my point is this. There are people out there who are probably listening to this and thinking; “Yea man that’s great advice.” And this is the reason we are in so much trouble in the first place.

Thank you everyone for visiting yesterday and today. I think I set a personal record. I visited more blogs and did less work than most days. :)

Have a great day,
Greg

16 comments:

Jamie Dawn said...

I'd love to have a mortgage holiday for about a year!!
Of course, we don't have the good fortune to get bailed out when we get in over our heads and make dumb choices with our finances.
Those radio hosts sound like morons. Maybe they were just being funny and silly. Maybe not.

:-)

Angie said...

I hear ya. The cycle continues. Where did common sense go? You should call in and give them a clue. People need some serious help out there.

skoots1mom said...

it's scary how many people don't keep up with their "$"...
living beyond their means...
great post.
I enjoyed yesterday, too...although if i did that everyday my house would fall down around me, i'm sure.
Charleston is one of my favorite places...my brotherinlaw served in the Navy there, so we got to go visit a lot
have a great rest of the week...

Jeannie said...

Yup, let's all spend our way to having millions. That's like the people who say they bought something only because it was on sale then say they saved $10 - when they still spent $25 they wouldn't have otherwise.

Scarlet said...

I would love a mortgage holiday! I'd love to stay home from work to enjoy it, too. ;)

Kati said...

One thing that I DO appreciate that Palin has done for Alaskans, was to take some of the profit our state made in the last year on oil revenues, and gave each Alaskan a $1200, one-time-only allowance to help cover the cost of fuel and electric for the year. Now, while I say I greatly appreciate the money, I also know that a great many people in this state used that money incredibly unwisely, doing just the sort of thing that the guy on your radio-show talked about: buying big-screen tv's and new "toys", and within a week, all over town you could hear folks complaining about how quickly that money went.

On the other hand, we shelled out $1650 for our once-a-year fuel fill-up; $399 for a command-start for my car today (see my blog today about why this is actually a pretty great and smart thing); a new oven to replace my 12 year old thing that no longer cooks properly (and hasn't in months, and it isn't the heating element, because it's the WHOLE oven AND stove); replaced our washer which JUST went out (that was a suprise!); got our kiddo set up for the year with her hockey gear (wish she'd stop growing so danged fast! That stuff's expensive!) and a couple new pair of shoes and 2 pair pants to replace her out-grown stuff; paid off my medical bills from this year; bought sheds for our vehicals which will hopefully protect them a little bit from the harsh winter weather; and we MAY have JUST enough to put laminate flooring in our house. Oh, we also did the kiddo's birthday, got me and her each an Ipod (her for birthday, me because I've wanted one for quite a while), and we still need to get a pair of studded tires for my car; my old tires went with my old car and I just don't feel safe without studs during the winter.

I know a couple of folks who've used the allowance for fuel AND for insualtion or home improvement projects. I think it's not a BAD idea, if the money is spent wisely. Thing is, you and I cannot TELL somebody else how they must use the money, no matter how unwisely it might be spent. Being this is a free country, you've got to allow for the good, and take the bad that comes along with it, or NOT allow it at all. There will always be, unfortunately, those idiots who take a good thing, squander it, then go "well.... Why does S/He still have money, mine's all gone?!?! I WANT MORE!!!!" Always, always, always. And, it's not to say that folks shouldn't have a LITTLE bit of fun, but yeah..... There are far too many idiots in this country who will spend ALL their money on fun then gripe when they find out they've run out.

I'm personally wishing that the second Wall Street bail-out plan hadn't gotten passed by congress. Let the chips fall where they may, and hope that when it comes down to it, we're compassionate to our fellow citizens who may be harder up. (Hating the fact that the Wall-Street idiots are getting away with phenominally crappy behavior and money management. And for what it's worth, the hubby only had -2 weeks ago- $2600 in his 401k and I don't have a 401k but a borough run pension plan that's been under fire for years now anyway.)

skoots1mom said...

thanks for comin' by...
Daniel's got some great interpretations in it...i'm enjoying it, too!

it's amazing the threads that run from the OT into the NT...i love understanding those connections

Celticspirit said...

A mortgage holiday sounds wonderful. However we are just renters at this time...saving for that land and house in the country....basically starting over at midlife. kinda scary. good post Greg. Your posts always make me think. Have a good week.

Kim said...

Yep, that's the mentality of a lot of people today.
We got out of debt over 20 years ago and have stayed that way. No it hasn't been easy and we've lived a much more frugal life than many of our peers. But it is SO WORTH IT.
I'm sad to say it doesn't matter how wisely you invest these days, you're bound to take a hit to some degree. Doesn't seem like there are any "safe" investments any more.
But God is still God and He's not surprised by any of this.
Oh, and we're in the center of Argentina Greg. Province of Cordoba.

Lori said...

I was thinking the same thing when I read all the things he was going to do with his payment. I don't think mine will go that far.

I think I would need many months before I could even begin to think about all of that stuff.

I love your random thoughts,

Lori

USAincognito said...

Very bad advice from those 3!!!!

Monogram Queen said...

Some people are just idiot when it comes to money. Now like Jamie Dawn said, a mortgage holiday for a year would be fabby! Maybe. Sorta-kida. Okay I dunno!!!

Kim S in SC said...

Greg for President!

Patrice said...

Greg, congratulations!! You won the blog makeover, swing by my site to get the details!

Sandy said...

I've been watching the news a lot and seems like besides finger pointing and blaming, everybody and his mother is giving advice out there. I wonder where it will all end up.

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