How to get over finance envy

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cogito
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Re: "What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!?"

Post by cogito »

Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:09 pm

I have no idea what you are talking about.

If I bought a share of stock and stuck the paper stock certificate under my mattress, is that productive capital?

If I sell some stock and use the cash to buy a sports car, I have increased economic activity.

If I sell stock and use the cash to buy more stock, and the person I sold it to does the same, and the person she sells it to does the same, etc. Then we have created an asset bubble with no underlying economic value creation.

Which is exactly why people should be spending more money in the real economy (on “enjoyable things”) instead of just buying shares on the stock market.
I think this is an old fashioned way of looking at the stock market. Companies like Amazon, Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway, and almost every single company out there have demonstrated that equity can be used as security for debt, increasing the ability for companies to invest and grow their business. Companies, every day, issue stocks and bonds based on increased market capitalization in the "secondary market". I mean heck, many of the people running these companies only care about using their stock options as collateral for bank loans. There's plenty of incentive for economic activity to go around.
Tingting1013
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Re: "What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!?"

Post by Tingting1013 »

cogito wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:28 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:09 pm

I have no idea what you are talking about.

If I bought a share of stock and stuck the paper stock certificate under my mattress, is that productive capital?

If I sell some stock and use the cash to buy a sports car, I have increased economic activity.

If I sell stock and use the cash to buy more stock, and the person I sold it to does the same, and the person she sells it to does the same, etc. Then we have created an asset bubble with no underlying economic value creation.

Which is exactly why people should be spending more money in the real economy (on “enjoyable things”) instead of just buying shares on the stock market.
I think this is an old fashioned way of looking at the stock market. Companies like Amazon, Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway, and almost every single company out there have demonstrated that equity can be used as security for debt, increasing the ability for companies to invest and grow their business. Companies, every day, issue stocks and bonds based on increased market capitalization in the "secondary market". I mean heck, many of the people running these companies only care about using their stock options as collateral for bank loans. There's plenty of incentive for economic activity to go around.
If issuing more stock based on nothing more than an increased valuation (itself driven by speculation) is not inflating an asset bubble, I don’t know what is.

But in any case, my point for the purposes of this thread is that Bogleheads should not be shaming others into spending less money, or feeling superior that they are so frugal. If anything they should be thanking those who are more profligate for performing a crucial economic function that they themselves have abdicated.
Darwin
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Re: Two kinds of people.

Post by Darwin »

Taylor Larimore wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:06 pm Paddington:

At age 89, I have traveled a long road and observed a few things:

In general, there are two kinds of people:

"Outer-directed" who spend their lives trying to impress others.
"Inner-directed" who achieve peace of mind.

There will always be people with more then we have, and many people with less. Try to accept that fact and focus on being comfortable with who you are.

Best wishes.
Taylor
To speak as my namesake for a moment... It's a hard lesson to learn, and goes against our social-ape instincts. Why should we care, really? I've been in old castles... The rooms were small, smelly and (in Europe at least) cold and drafty. A modern low income apartment has much more comfort, but we humans DO like to compare ourselves to each other before deciding how we feel about ourselves. At age 30 I lived in a 1-room 10x10' shed (built by me years earlier) in the mountains of California. No electricity. I liked it, but then again none of my friends had electricity either.
My point being... As social creatures, we tend to measure ourselves against others. We might be happier if we didn't. Perspective.
No planet, no business. Earth bats last.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

I suppose. But why does it matter whether one knows someone who is spending more?

We all know that some people drive Bentleys. Why does it matter whether we have met someone who drives a Bentley?

I don't have a super yacht. As far as I know, I have never met anyone who does. I don't want a super yacht. Why would meeting someone who had one elicit in me a sudden desire for this thing and envy because I don't have one?
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
bltn
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by bltn »

Point wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:24 am You’re doing great.

Here what we focused on: Never be a burden on your kids. live well below your means. Develop multiple sources of future income. Stay away from the shiny stuff. Don’t follow the Joneses. Keep your cars for 10 years+. Pay off credit cards every month. Use cash as much as possible so you can feel the pain of spending on every transaction. Make your own meals. Have an emergency fund. Keep the kids from envying what others have.

You will get there. Patience. Focus.
Reminds me a bit of our family. My parents two financial goals when I was growing up were
1. Save enough money to send me and my sister to college.
2. Accumulate enough money to never be a burden for the kids.
Number 2 defined their concept of financial security. My parents were never materialistic. That upbringing made LBYM easy for me.
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galving
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by galving »

Paddington79 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:57 pm My husband and I are cautious people. We try to save faithfully, no credit card debt, no car debt, nothing. We save 22 percent per year in a 401k and contribute faithfully to our kids' college fund.
Meanwhile we are faithfully waiting til we have 20 percent down on a house plus extra savings of 30k. I guess the one area where we "indulge" is with eating out, but even then we're trying to cut back. We live pretty modestly and track our expenses.
However. We live in a HCOL. Everywhere I look people our age are buying new homes in these fancy locations, new cars, etc. Our gently used Toyota is one of the shabbier ones at our kids' school parking lot. And we live in a rental!

Either we are in the wrong line of work (we make almost 180k combined) or we are doing something wrong, I can't help but feel. At our age (33) I wonder why we aren't owning a home yet -- and the homes we're looking at are not fancy!
Sometimes it gets depressing. Our two strikes against us, if any, are (a) not being born to money or (b) having grad school debt (which we pay extra on monthly!).

At times I want to yell, What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!? Anyone else feel this way - and anyone know how to snap out of it!!? I am not sure if I'm justly aggravated or misperceiving what is out there.
:beer
It's going to be ok. . . We weren't born to money either.
Almost 2 decades ago my wife and I had the same experience. Saving a bunch in the 401k, paying off loans etc.
We were looking around, and 'everyone' had a new BMW, Yukon, or other fancy car/boat or whatever.
All of these people were doing 'insane' things to afford these toys. This was right before or in the middle of the real estate craziness.
Refinancing cashing out their 'equity' and then buying stuff. Running 40-50k in credit card debt.

Stuff is just stuff. It will get old, get broken, and need replacement.
By you choosing to a bit more conservative now, it tends to open your future choices.

What you don't see is that in 10 years your 401k will be 10x what you're fancy neighbors have.
Now some people are shocked to learn we have paid off cars, house, and have a game plan for beach/vacation house.

Hang in there.
bluebolt
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Re: "What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!?"

Post by bluebolt »

Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:14 pm When you buy a share of VTSAX or any stock, you are buying it on the secondary market from another shareholder. The companies whose stock you are buying get no capital at all from your transaction.

The only time companies directly get capital from a stock sale is when they sell stock themselves, in an IPO or a secondary offering. As a retail investor you are almost never going to be in a position to invest in those.
You are correct. However, by buying shares and propping up/increasing the share price, you do indirectly give the company value, which it can use to compensate employees, make acquisitions, etc.
hnd
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by hnd »

warner25 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:00 pm
hnd wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:02 pm I taught FPU at our church for 5 years...
I'm wondering if this is just what you get when you offer a class that's mostly about debt reduction: people in debt. On the other hand, maybe the people who show up at FPU actually represent a segment of the population that's better with money than most; like at least they care enough to devote time to a personal finance class. Interesting that the dropout rate is so high.

What would you do if you had someone show up who was saving and investing like a typical Boglehead?
You are probably right on both accounts. We didn't really advertise it as FIX YOUR FINANCES IDIOTS but more of a way of best utilizing money and opportunity God has given you. One of my better friends married into a tax preparers/accountant family. I was talking to him about this and he was like its not far off.

And there were always people a few people that had no debt and plenty of savings that joined and usually could count on to stay til the end.

I guess I should also say that i'm human and people definitely joined the class that i thought for sure would not be in these situations. definitely taken back. And you might be like how do you know? I always let people come up after and ask questions. And they often did.
hnd
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by hnd »

djpeteski wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:48 am
hnd wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:02 pm I taught FPU at our church for 5 years. ....
Same kind of thing, taught the class a few times, and many people came to the class seeking bailouts. One couple earned a very modest salary (like 50 to 60K/year range) but somehow owed the IRS over 100K, plus car payments etc. They were unwilling to change their lifestyle and assumed the church would just write a check for them. What? The debt to income and savings ratios of most people are very out of wack.

IMHO the biggest antidote to financial envy is giving to worthy causes and counting your own blessings.

I know some couples that have a lot more money then us but are miserable. I would not want to change places with them. I also know two couples that have a lot more money than us, and are such wonderful people, great friends. The wife and I "change places" with them by mimicking their behavior. That is treating others with grace, dignity, and generosity that are less fortunate then us.
we have members who fall on hard times and will legitimately attempt to help in some way but we stipulate they have to do FPU. I know many have issues with the investing side of FPU (I know I do) but prior to that everything is sound.

My wife is management material. She has become a manager is every position she held until she became a stay at home mom at 25. I know the type of income we'd have if my wife didn't want to dedicate herself to raising and educating our children. I was lucky to get a promotion at work and it covered her current salary and she asked if this was something she could do (hit me by surprise as a 25 yr old doing math in my head) but i was like this is the way! And we did it and I think we've done ok.
softmax
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by softmax »

Normchad wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:51 am
softmax wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:45 am
Mr.BB wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:47 am Let's just put this tread in a nutshell. Who cares what your friends/neighbors make. First of all when you do that you are judging them by "how they spend" not by "what the save".The reality is you no nothing expect for your own personal information. They may drowning in debt even if they are driving the newest Tesla, or they may be literally living paycheck to paycheck. They may have horrible jobs and bosses, you just don't know. I think you need to take course on Goal Setting to focus on your own goals, not your neighbors.
This conclusion still implies that others are doing *worse* in many aspects. It could be the other way:
1) They took risks and made great investment returns
2) They are smart and make big paychecks through their regular jobs
3) They have successful side businesses
4) Their kids are angels so that parenting is easier
You are absolutely correct. Maybe we are envious, because they are in fact doing better.

To me, it all misses the point though. It’s simply none of my business or concern. If they are doing better, or doing worse, it just doesn’t matter. It has no impact on my life. As someone else said “you don’t pay their bills”.

So anytime we spend even thinking about it, is a los for us. That’s time we could have spent doing something better.

It’s very hard to not think about it at all, but that’s my goal.
As you said, it's difficult to not think about it. My point is, if we can't avoid thinking about it, just think about it in a positive way which could motivate us to worker harder, instead of making guesses (e.g., they're living paycheck to paycheck) that only make us feel better.

Of course, working harder is not a lifestyle for everyone, so reconciling with yourself is also an option.
SquirrelEater
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by SquirrelEater »

A decade ago I was employed at a tax preparation company. Started as an accounting assistant. Saw just about every tax return the company did. Touched nearly every W-2, 1099, 1098, etc that went into & out of the building. My desk was at a large window overlooking the parking lot. I saw most of the customers cars parking there. I could see them in waking in and thus be ready to greet them at the door.
The office is in a nice area. One of the higher cost of living areas in my metropolitan area. Whole Foods does well in this area. I know the area well enough to connect the street names to the house size.

I’ll consider this my qualification to make some broad judgements.

Also my brother was a mortgage broker at the time. So sometimes we’d discuss trends of people. Like what kind of employers seem to consistently pay well and such. He has so many sad stories of debt ridden people looking for refinancing. They ain’t sad tho... they feel entitled.

Beyond a doubt most people are UAW (under achievers of wealth). At the max. And they see nothing wrong with it. They want more stuff. Vanity USA. If you only knew how bad things really are!

In the office I was the youngest. I got tasked with moving the ancient paper files of an acquired firm (they were not paperless). I got the pry into the payroll records of their employees too. Could not resist the temptation to peek when alone in the basement. I was thoroughly unimpressed. Combined with their cars it clear they are at the edge.

The experiences of working at the tax preparer office and my brother’s mortgage experience changed my life and how I view money management. It set me on course to become a PAW/“Boglehead” and away from the Robb Report(is that still a thing?).

I deal with the envy by being disgusted by the vanity and UAW lifestyle.

You only live once, being bankrupt isn’t very YOLO fun. Cat food in old age in a trailer park living on meager SS is not YOLO. That currently junked Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer from 1996 was NOT worth it back then. The mortgaged house in St Albans, MO is NOT cool. A paid-for house in somewhere reasonable is cool.
Normchad
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Normchad »

softmax wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:07 pm
Normchad wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:51 am
softmax wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:45 am
Mr.BB wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:47 am Let's just put this tread in a nutshell. Who cares what your friends/neighbors make. First of all when you do that you are judging them by "how they spend" not by "what the save".The reality is you no nothing expect for your own personal information. They may drowning in debt even if they are driving the newest Tesla, or they may be literally living paycheck to paycheck. They may have horrible jobs and bosses, you just don't know. I think you need to take course on Goal Setting to focus on your own goals, not your neighbors.
This conclusion still implies that others are doing *worse* in many aspects. It could be the other way:
1) They took risks and made great investment returns
2) They are smart and make big paychecks through their regular jobs
3) They have successful side businesses
4) Their kids are angels so that parenting is easier
You are absolutely correct. Maybe we are envious, because they are in fact doing better.

To me, it all misses the point though. It’s simply none of my business or concern. If they are doing better, or doing worse, it just doesn’t matter. It has no impact on my life. As someone else said “you don’t pay their bills”.

So anytime we spend even thinking about it, is a los for us. That’s time we could have spent doing something better.

It’s very hard to not think about it at all, but that’s my goal.
As you said, it's difficult to not think about it. My point is, if we can't avoid thinking about it, just think about it in a positive way which could motivate us to worker harder, instead of making guesses (e.g., they're living paycheck to paycheck) that only make us feel better.

Of course, working harder is not a lifestyle for everyone, so reconciling with yourself is also an option.
+1. Great point! Let’s always be thinking positively of each other, and striving for self improvement.
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aj76er
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Re: "What are we doing wrong and what are "THEY" doing right!?"

Post by aj76er »

Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:41 pm
FOGU wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:31 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:14 pm
FOGU wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:09 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:33 pm

Not true at all.
Enlighten me.
When you buy a share of VTSAX or any stock, you are buying it on the secondary market from another shareholder. The companies whose stock you are buying get no capital at all from your transaction.

The only time companies directly get capital from a stock sale is when they sell stock themselves, in an IPO or a secondary offering. As a retail investor you are almost never going to be in a position to invest in those.
The money that buys the shares is still an equity investment, a capital investment, whether purchased direct from the company who issued it or from a seller on the secondary market. This is a replenishment of the original capital, which is as necessary to the system as the original equity issue. The point is that the money is deployed in productive capital, not stored in some unproductive mattress or vault.
Trading stocks back and forth literally does nothing productive for the economy*. If anything it inflates bubbles.
This activity is what ultimately determines the price you pay for a share of stock. Without it, the market would be wildly inefficient and index funds would not exist. Bubbles can form but they are relatively rare and short-lived. There is overwhelming data that shows that “trading stocks back and forth” on the secondary market is efficient at pricing assets over long periods of time (e.g. a few decades).
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle
flaccidsteele
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by flaccidsteele »

Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind

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The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
JS-Elcano
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by JS-Elcano »

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Last edited by JS-Elcano on Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind
Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be most compelling if they said they had no idea how many of those around them were the 1%, did not care and they would not know whether there was a wealth disparity.

I will start:
I have no idea how much wealth my neighbors have and I don't care.
I have no idea how much wealth my co-workers have and I don't care.
I have a general idea of my co-workers incomes on average, because I know salaries in my field. I don't know how much any individual makes and again, I don't care.

As I have asked before, "Why should anyone care what their neighbors or friends make or how many expensive toys they have? Unless they are going to give some of their money to you, what difference does it make?"
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

JS-Elcano wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:48 pm Saving is deliberate. It doesn't just happen. There won't just miraculously be 'something left at the end of the month' if one just had a bigger income.
Well, not for everyone. We find that spending is deliberate and saving is what happens when income exceeds spending. Our incomes have gone up a lot over the years, but our consumption has gone down.

We always were pretty good at controlling spending. As time went by, we found that very few expensive things were worth anything approaching the cost. We don't want all that expensive stuff, we don't buy it and there is money left over.

Just climb off that treadmill and be amazed at how much money was wasted trying to keep up. Don't buy that new car, house, jewelry, fancy vacation, whatever. Buy your car used and keep it forever. Have dinner at home. Buy your clothes from ebay and thrift stores. Take your time off work at home rather than traveling.

Take a walk. Drop by the library and borrow a book.

Saving money is considerably easier than falling off a log.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
BogleFan510
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Re: Are you "outer directed" or "inner directed" ?

Post by BogleFan510 »

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1210sda
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by 1210sda »

When we were in the process of deciding where to build our home, we found a subdivision where the size and cost of our house would put us at the median.

We found that most other things fell in place. We've been here almost 20 yrs and have not had any problems with "FE". At least not any major ones. :)
Tingting1013
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Tingting1013 »

afan wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm As I have asked before, "Why should anyone care what their neighbors or friends make or how many expensive toys they have? Unless they are going to give some of their money to you, what difference does it make?"
For one thing, knowing how much others (who are similarly professionally situated) make can reveal whether you are being fairly paid.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

Knowing general compensation information is helpful. But no need to know what a particular individual makes. I already know the salary ranges in my field. That does not mean I know what any one of my co-workers make. And again, I don't care.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
flaccidsteele
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by flaccidsteele »

afan wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind
Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be most compelling if they said they had no idea how many of those around them were the 1%, did not care and they would not know whether there was a wealth disparity.
Willful ignorance isn’t a compelling test for envy imo

Test for Envy (and it’s opposite) requires awareness
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
Kelrex
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Kelrex »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind
*raises hand*

Among my colleagues and most of my friends, I am substantially less wealthy because of very purposeful career choices I made early on.

And yes, I am rather pleased with my choices and have absolutely no envy of those who make or have more because they chose a career option that I really, really didn't want for myself.

If I was unhappy in my career, or felt I never achieved my full potential, or wasn't given enough of a shot, or never made enough to live the kind of life I wanted, then yeah, I would probably feel crappy being surrounded by 1%ers, but that's absolutely not my case.

I don't think it's the relative lack of wealth that makes people feel bad, I suspect it's how they feel about their own lives and accomplishments that makes them feel threatened when they are around greater wealth, as they see wealth as a proxy for accomplishment and career satisfaction, which is really only partially accurate.

The fact of it is that there are countless things to envy people for, and it would be a sad existence trying to live a life avoiding being around anyone who has something you wish you had.

Someone who feels really satisfied with their own life may admire what another has, just as I admire the homes and cars of my wealthier peers, just as I admire my sibling's dramatically superior natural athletic prowess. Some people have more of some awesome things. That's just an utterly unremarkable and normal part of life.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:14 pm
afan wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind
Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be most compelling if they said they had no idea how many of those around them were the 1%, did not care and they would not know whether there was a wealth disparity.
Willful ignorance isn’t a compelling test for envy imo

Test for Envy (and it’s opposite) requires awareness
Test for envy requires that you care.

I don't know or care what my colleagues eat for breakfast. Therefore, I cannot possibly envy them.

In that sense, I am willfully ignorant of their morning food habits.

Because I don't care.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
flaccidsteele
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by flaccidsteele »

afan wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:54 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:14 pm
afan wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind
Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be most compelling if they said they had no idea how many of those around them were the 1%, did not care and they would not know whether there was a wealth disparity.
Willful ignorance isn’t a compelling test for envy imo

Test for Envy (and it’s opposite) requires awareness
Test for envy requires that you care.

I don't know or care what my colleagues eat for breakfast. Therefore, I cannot possibly envy them.

In that sense, I am willfully ignorant of their morning food habits.

Because I don't care.
+1 ^agreed
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
visualguy
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by visualguy »

When I was very young, I did feel some envy of those with nicer things such as houses, cars, toys. That didn't last, though, as I grew up.

When I was older and more mature, I realized that the real advantage of wealth wasn't so much in those possessions, but in the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others that you care about, such as family, or causes that are dear to you.

Having significant wealth can make a difference when, for example, a family member falls ill with cancer and needs the best care. I saw this in the way the dad of someone I knew was treated at a hospital after his son made a seven figure donation. More importantly, it can make a difference in the lives of kids through educational opportunities and connections. The son of a former boss of mine is now a partner at a VC firm, and he's just in his 20s. He was a smart and capable kid, but that hasn't been the only factor - a dad who was a well-connected successful entrepreneur and VC as well as a donor to the Ivy League university where his kid went (not to mention the private school before that) definitely played a part in setting up the son for success. I find that this is what it's really about when money and power are there. It's not about the cars and toys. It's about what you can do for the people or causes that you care about. I find on occasion that I still envy those with that kind of financial ability - they can make some difference that I can't make with my much more modest means.
rich126
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by rich126 »

Sometimes I console myself with "wow they have a lot of stuff but I bet they don't have any real savings and are often house poor". Not always true but often it is true.

Honestly I've never been a person who chases much of anything. I think except for having a house in a nice area but wants are limited. And even house wise I've always gone to smaller and older homes and never bought new.

The one thing i do splurge on and wish I could 100% of the time is flying business class all the time. Not into jewelry, expensive cars, wines, etc. I do like convenience stuff.

I know (casually not as a friend) who bought a Ferrari at his FL house and while it would be fun to drive, I have no desire to own one. As a kid (well young adult) I bought a MR2 and had tons of fun with it and a few close calls and got that out of my system (obviously nothing like a Ferrari but sufficed for me).
oldfort
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by oldfort »

There are lot of strange posts on this thread: "Money isn't supposed to be blown on enjoyment." It's like some posters watched The Christmas Carol and decided Ebenezer Scrooge was their role model.
novemberrain
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by novemberrain »

Having a NW of 3M gets a family into the 95th percentile. That means that every 20th person in the US belongs to a family with NW of 3M. That is a lot of people
flaccidsteele
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by flaccidsteele »

novemberrain wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:58 pm Having a NW of 3M gets a family into the 95th percentile. That means that every 20th person in the US belongs to a family with NW of 3M. That is a lot of people
+1 ^this

There are a lot of wealthy people out there

Every 1 in 100 has some solid coin!

Image

Image
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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unclescrooge
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by unclescrooge »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:43 pm
novemberrain wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:58 pm Having a NW of 3M gets a family into the 95th percentile. That means that every 20th person in the US belongs to a family with NW of 3M. That is a lot of people
+1 ^this

There are a lot of wealthy people out there

Every 1 in 100 has some solid coin!

Image

Image
How much of these numbers are skewed by the people living in California and have half their NW tied up in their million dollar homes?

A lot!

But even this number is dwarfed by the people collecting $120k pensions from union/government jobs, which works out to a net present value of $2.3 million over 30 years with an interest rate of 3%.
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unclescrooge
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by unclescrooge »

WSJ just posted an article indicating the impact of the pandemic on every day middle class Americans.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-unem ... 91?mod=mhp

While they tried to put a human angle on the economic suffering brought on by the pandemic, all they did was highlight 4 families living being their means.

In one case, there was a story of a 43 year old couple making $175k, and had $9k/month in debt payments on their house and FOUR cars. :shock:
Their income dried up, they likely didn't apply for PPP, and now they're struggling financially.

In another case, a 50 year old couple made $150k with only $4,400/month in debt payments. The wife was a corporate travel agent and her job function has basically disappeared. The company gave her severance and then she decided to finish her bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and borrowed $5k from her 401k to do so. Also, she halted payments on her infinity QX60.

How does someone who's worked for 24 years not have have $5k in savings? Especially after just getting severance?

The other stories are similar. Disproportionately large car payments, credit card bills, and inadequate savings despite decades of work.

Is this common, or are these just the cherry picked sad sack stories?
Kelrex
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Kelrex »

unclescrooge wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:01 am WSJ just posted an article indicating the impact of the pandemic on every day middle class Americans.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-unem ... 91?mod=mhp

While they tried to put a human angle on the economic suffering brought on by the pandemic, all they did was highlight 4 families living being their means.

In one case, there was a story of a 43 year old couple making $175k, and had $9k/month in debt payments on their house and FOUR cars. :shock:
Their income dried up, they likely didn't apply for PPP, and now they're struggling financially.

In another case, a 50 year old couple made $150k with only $4,400/month in debt payments. The wife was a corporate travel agent and her job function has basically disappeared. The company gave her severance and then she decided to finish her bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and borrowed $5k from her 401k to do so. Also, she halted payments on her infinity QX60.

How does someone who's worked for 24 years not have have $5k in savings? Especially after just getting severance?

The other stories are similar. Disproportionately large car payments, credit card bills, and inadequate savings despite decades of work.

Is this common, or are these just the cherry picked sad sack stories?
It's both. There are a lot of wealthy people out there and there are a lot of indebted people out there.

The indebted people are absolutely cherry picked for these types of articles for two reasons
1: they are quite common, and even if they've put themselves in this position, it's still a huge problem
2: readers adore schadenfreude
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:50 pm Everybody says they have no finance envy, and then cite that they have more wealth than their neighbours/peers/friends/coworkers/etc

That kind of proves the opposite

Evidence that a person doesn’t have finance envy would be more compelling if they said that everybody around them was in the 1%, they're always the poorest in a group, and the wealth disparity never crosses their mind

Image

Image
Those charts are completely meaningless. Of zero use or benefit to anyone. Sure, it might be easier to measure the top 1% of wealth than it is the top 1% of kindness, Integrity, or even sense of humor, but I’d FAR rather be in the top 1% of the in measurable three I mentioned. And for what it’s worth, using my wife’s age, yes, we are in the top 1% according to your little charts. But who cares? I sure don’t.

Envy is a problem for a person who knows where to find the charts of the top 1% in the US (and Canada too!), not the person who doesn’t care in the least.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

It is interesting to see the wealth distribution across the country. It gives an indication of the overall economy. I have no problem with being curious about that. Just as I find GDP figures to be interesting.

Where I get lost is obsessing about my standing on the wealth scale versus some other identified individual. Unless they are going to give some of their money to me, why should I care how much they have? I know there are lots of people with more money. I don't care who they are

I feel sorry for the people in articles about their financial worlds collapsing because of the shutdown, or other economic reverses. I wish they had listened to those who tried to convince them to dial back the spending and save more money. In this thread one sees many people who are anxious to spend, spend, spend as if that is their only purpose in life.

We have heard from people who assert that the only purpose of money is to spend it. People who reject saving and investing as goals in themselves. Hardly surprising that there are many in the country who could not sustain 6 months out of work without financial ruin.

I see these people as having been sold a fantasy that the secret to life is hyperconsumption. In spite of how much they spend now, they are unhappy. Rather that reframing their goals, they believe that the solution is to buy even more stuff. If only they could buy enough expensive things, then their unhappiness would go away.

They would be better off if they realized that a walk in the park can be every bit as satisfying as, for many of us, far more satisfying, than, a first class flight to Paris. And the walk is free.
Last edited by afan on Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MMiroir
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by MMiroir »

afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:25 amThey would be better off if they realized that a walk in the park can be every bit as satisfying as, for many of us, far more satisfying, than, a first class flight to Paris.
To be fair, Paris has some very fine parks.
backpacker61
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by backpacker61 »

rockstar wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:46 pm I'm trying to wrap my head around this thread. I'm most happy when I'm sleeping in a tent in the woods and camping with friends.
You and I are similar. I used an 8 week sabbatical some time ago to thru hike the Colorado Trail, which took me six weeks.
All-in cost was ~2.7 K, including quite a bit of new gear; for a 6 week long trip.
Life on the trail was very simple; everything of significance fit in a ~65l pack.
Never had so much fun before or since.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Kelrex wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:38 am
unclescrooge wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:01 am WSJ just posted an article indicating the impact of the pandemic on every day middle class Americans.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-unem ... 91?mod=mhp

While they tried to put a human angle on the economic suffering brought on by the pandemic, all they did was highlight 4 families living being their means.

In one case, there was a story of a 43 year old couple making $175k, and had $9k/month in debt payments on their house and FOUR cars. :shock:
Their income dried up, they likely didn't apply for PPP, and now they're struggling financially.

In another case, a 50 year old couple made $150k with only $4,400/month in debt payments. The wife was a corporate travel agent and her job function has basically disappeared. The company gave her severance and then she decided to finish her bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and borrowed $5k from her 401k to do so. Also, she halted payments on her infinity QX60.

How does someone who's worked for 24 years not have have $5k in savings? Especially after just getting severance?

The other stories are similar. Disproportionately large car payments, credit card bills, and inadequate savings despite decades of work.

Is this common, or are these just the cherry picked sad sack stories?
It's both. There are a lot of wealthy people out there and there are a lot of indebted people out there.

The indebted people are absolutely cherry picked for these types of articles for two reasons
1: they are quite common, and even if they've put themselves in this position, it's still a huge problem
2: readers adore schadenfreude
It’s a case of income rich, asset poor. “There are people with big hats and no cattle. I may not look the part but I own a lot of cattle” - The Millionaire Next Door.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
an_asker
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by an_asker »

MMiroir wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:33 am
afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:25 amThey would be better off if they realized that a walk in the park can be every bit as satisfying as, for many of us, far more satisfying, than, a first class flight to Paris.
To be fair, Paris has some very fine parks.
And you can get there flying cattle class too (though I wouldn't do that tomorrow - even paying first class fare - lol).
Tingting1013
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Tingting1013 »

afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:25 am It is interesting to see the wealth distribution across the country. Ir gives an indication of the overall economy. I have no problem with being curious about that. Just as I find GDP figures to be interesting.

Where I get lost is obsessing about my standing on the wealth scale versus some other identified individual. Unless they are going to give some of their money to me, why should I care how much they have? I know there are lots of people with more money. I don't care who they are

I feel sorry for the people in articles about their financial worlds collapsing because of the shutdown, or other economic reverses. I wish they had listened to those who tried to convince them to dial back the spending and save more money. In this thread one sees many people who are anxious to spend, spend, spend as if that is their only purpose in life.

We have heard from people who assert that the only purpose of money is to spend it. People who reject saving and investing as goals in themselves. Hardly surprising that there are many in the country who could not sustain 6 months out of work without financial ruin.

I see these people as having been sold a fantasy that the secret to life is hyperconsumption. In spite of how much they spend now, they are unhappy. Rather that reframing their goals, they believe that the solution is to buy even more stuff. If only they could buy enough expensive things, then their unhappiness would go away.

They would be better off if they realized that a walk in the park can be every bit as satisfying as, for many of us, far more satisfying, than, a first class flight to Paris. And the walk is free.
Saving as an end in itself seems to me as misguided as buying things that bring you no joy.

How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
GoldenGoose
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by GoldenGoose »

RadAudit wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:27 pm
GoldenGoose wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:38 pm What is the point of having 2 millions in the bank while being sickly and old?
The assisted living / retirement community your kids stuck you in won't throw you out in the street (yet) to live under the railroad bridge? :wink:
There are many elderlies who don't have as much money and yet they live just fine. Not advocating going broke but just being realistic.
GoldenGoose
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by GoldenGoose »

backpacker61 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:07 am
rockstar wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:46 pm I'm trying to wrap my head around this thread. I'm most happy when I'm sleeping in a tent in the woods and camping with friends.
You and I are similar. I used an 8 week sabbatical some time ago to thru hike the Colorado Trail, which took me six weeks.
All-in cost was ~2.7 K, including quite a bit of new gear; for a 6 week long trip.
Life on the trail was very simple; everything of significance fit in a ~65l pack.
Never had so much fun before or since.
No doubt. You live your life happiest when you are young, have little money and for some reason care less. Nowadays, it's all about do I have enough for retirement. Worrying like that does take the fun out of living.
afan
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by afan »

Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
How about working to accomplish something? How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves? How about rejecting as a goal the constant search for hedonistic pleasure?

If you believe that your work is useful, even if it is not a source of pleasure, then there is a reason to do it beyond the money. If one's work is useful, then one might not be in a hurry to retire as soon as possible. If happiness does not come from spending then the link between happiness and retirement may be different than many on this thread suggest.

I am not looking for a period of life where I no longer have useful work to do. At some point I may find that I am still alive but health or stamina have failed. If that happens, thenI will have no further ability to be productive. I will have to accept it.

I am not looking to drop out of the ranks of the productive any earlier than I have to.

A walk in the park in Paris makes perfect sense for someone who lives in Paris.

For those in the US, you don't need to cross the Atlantic to take a walk.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
Tingting1013
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by Tingting1013 »

afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:01 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
How about working to accomplish something? How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves? How about rejecting as a goal the constant search for hedonistic pleasure?

If you believe that your work is useful, even if it is not a source of pleasure, then there is a reason to do it beyond the money. If one's work is useful, then one might not be in a hurry to retire as soon as possible. If happiness does not come from spending then the link between happiness and retirement may be different than many on this thread suggest.

I am not looking for a period of life where I no longer have useful work to do. At some point I may find that I am still alive but health or stamina have failed. If that happens, thenI will have no further ability to be productive. I will have to accept it.

I am not looking to drop out of the ranks of the productive any earlier than I have to.
There are times when I try to put myself in someone’s shoes and utterly fail.

This is one of those times.

For many of us there is nothing particularly redeeming about what we do for work. What higher calling is satisfied by helping to sell an extra widget in a hyperconsumerist economy? As you say, this kind of work can actually be degrading to the social order.

Even if your work is a positive end in itself, there are plenty of other demands on one’s time, chief among them family.

“How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
oldfort
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by oldfort »

Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am
afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:01 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
How about working to accomplish something? How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves? How about rejecting as a goal the constant search for hedonistic pleasure?

If you believe that your work is useful, even if it is not a source of pleasure, then there is a reason to do it beyond the money. If one's work is useful, then one might not be in a hurry to retire as soon as possible. If happiness does not come from spending then the link between happiness and retirement may be different than many on this thread suggest.

I am not looking for a period of life where I no longer have useful work to do. At some point I may find that I am still alive but health or stamina have failed. If that happens, thenI will have no further ability to be productive. I will have to accept it.

I am not looking to drop out of the ranks of the productive any earlier than I have to.
There are times when I try to put myself in someone’s shoes and utterly fail.

This is one of those times.

For many of us there is nothing particularly redeeming about what we do for work. What higher calling is satisfied by helping to sell an extra widget in a hyperconsumerist economy? As you say, this kind of work can actually be degrading to the social order.

Even if your work is a positive end in itself, there are plenty of other demands on one’s time, chief among them family.

“How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
+1000

The idea that building and growing a portfolio is an accomplishment in itself is bizarre. Money is useless if you don't plan to ever spend it. Even saving for retirement is done for the purpose of being able to spend more money at a later date. There's no award for being the richest man or woman in the graveyard.
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batpot
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by batpot »

oldfort wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:48 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am
afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:01 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
How about working to accomplish something? How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves? How about rejecting as a goal the constant search for hedonistic pleasure?

If you believe that your work is useful, even if it is not a source of pleasure, then there is a reason to do it beyond the money. If one's work is useful, then one might not be in a hurry to retire as soon as possible. If happiness does not come from spending then the link between happiness and retirement may be different than many on this thread suggest.

I am not looking for a period of life where I no longer have useful work to do. At some point I may find that I am still alive but health or stamina have failed. If that happens, thenI will have no further ability to be productive. I will have to accept it.

I am not looking to drop out of the ranks of the productive any earlier than I have to.
There are times when I try to put myself in someone’s shoes and utterly fail.

This is one of those times.

For many of us there is nothing particularly redeeming about what we do for work. What higher calling is satisfied by helping to sell an extra widget in a hyperconsumerist economy? As you say, this kind of work can actually be degrading to the social order.

Even if your work is a positive end in itself, there are plenty of other demands on one’s time, chief among them family.

“How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
+1000

The idea that building and growing a portfolio is an accomplishment in itself is bizarre. Money is useless if you don't plan to ever spend it. Even saving for retirement is done for the purpose of being able to spend more money at a later date. There's no award for being the richest man or woman in the graveyard.
It's not pathology, it's FIRE.
Become financially independent, and quit the soul-sucking rat race.
The only way to do that is to grow your portfolio, and live way below your means.

Unless you are one of the few who's work is fulfilling in and of itself, which I think is what afan was stating. But most people never get that.
oldfort
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by oldfort »

batpot wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:04 am
oldfort wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:48 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am
afan wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:01 am
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:32 am
How about saving as much as you need, and then retiring?
How about working to accomplish something? How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves? How about rejecting as a goal the constant search for hedonistic pleasure?

If you believe that your work is useful, even if it is not a source of pleasure, then there is a reason to do it beyond the money. If one's work is useful, then one might not be in a hurry to retire as soon as possible. If happiness does not come from spending then the link between happiness and retirement may be different than many on this thread suggest.

I am not looking for a period of life where I no longer have useful work to do. At some point I may find that I am still alive but health or stamina have failed. If that happens, thenI will have no further ability to be productive. I will have to accept it.

I am not looking to drop out of the ranks of the productive any earlier than I have to.
There are times when I try to put myself in someone’s shoes and utterly fail.

This is one of those times.

For many of us there is nothing particularly redeeming about what we do for work. What higher calling is satisfied by helping to sell an extra widget in a hyperconsumerist economy? As you say, this kind of work can actually be degrading to the social order.

Even if your work is a positive end in itself, there are plenty of other demands on one’s time, chief among them family.

“How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
+1000

The idea that building and growing a portfolio is an accomplishment in itself is bizarre. Money is useless if you don't plan to ever spend it. Even saving for retirement is done for the purpose of being able to spend more money at a later date. There's no award for being the richest man or woman in the graveyard.
It's not pathology, it's FIRE.
Become financially independent, and quit the soul-sucking rat race.
The only way to do that is to grow your portfolio, and live way below your means.

Unless you are one of the few who's work is fulfilling in and of itself, which I think is what afan was stating. But most people never get that.
Did you read afan's post before replying to me? Afan is not trying to FIRE.
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batpot
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by batpot »

Did you read my last sentence? I only wrote 4. I even put a line break between the 2 thoughts.

Though most of my post was addressing Tingting's comment here, which you were apparently emphatically agreeing to:
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am “How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
oldfort
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by oldfort »

batpot wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:17 am Did you read my last sentence? I only wrote 4. I even put a line break between the 2 thoughts.

Though most of my post was addressing Tingting's comment here, which you were apparently emphatically agreeing to:
Tingting1013 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:13 am “How about viewing building and growing a portfolio as accomplishments in themselves?”

I don’t know what to say to this, except that it sounds like a pathology.
If you're growing your portfolio for the purposes of FIRE, then you're not "growing a portfolio as accomplishment in themselves." By talking about FIRE, you seem to be changing the subject? So can we all agree Afan sounds like a pathology case?
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batpot
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Re: How to get over finance envy

Post by batpot »

You're right - his statement was not about FIRE.
Taken on it's own, FIRE was a quick explanation for a seemingly rationale statement.
Still, I'll treat it with the same naivete as the rest of his post.
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