Average Joe vs. Upside Down Teacups and Other Nonsense
Stop focusing on bullshit and address your goals. It’s time to rock in your life.
Early in my career a guy walked into my office and wanted to talk about day trading. This was in the late 1990’s when the hot new thing was buying a bunch of positions in the morning and selling them all by the market close. If you score a 1% return every session, you’ll pad your net worth significantly by the end of the year.
It sounds great in theory, doesn’t it?
Anyway, this guy comes into my office and says, “Check out this chart.”
Me: “What about it?”
Him: “Upside down teacup. This sucker’s goin’ to the moon!”
Me: “What’s an upside down teacup?”
I thought he was going to laugh me out of my own office. His face was all red, like I’d just insulted his mother. “Upside down teacup? See how on this day the stock makes a quick move up and then pulls back? That’s the handle. Now look. It’s heading up again but this time it’s gonna break through the resistance.”
Me: How much money do you need to retire?
Him: Huh? Retire? Crap, I’m gonna retire next year, using this! How the hell can you call yourself a financial advisor when you don’t know basics like the upside down teacup? Don’t you do any chart reading?”
Me: “No, not really. You have any debt?”
Him: “Debt? Who cares about debt? I’m not sure how you can help me. You don’t know the first thing about making money.”
Me: “How much money are we actually talking about here? What have you done with your stock chart strategy?”
Him: “What are you talking about? This is ridiculous. I can’t believe you don’t know this stuff.”
Me: “I’m just curious. How much money are we talking about?
Him: “I’m getting ready to start.”
Me: “You haven’t saved any money yet? How old are you?”
Me: “And you haven’t started yet?”
Him: “This will help me catch up.”
That wasn’t all. It turned out he had about $29,000 in credit card debt, too.
He didn’t want to talk about goals, the debt or tax shelters. It was all about the quick return.
People like you and I should have laughed him out of my office, shouldn’t we?
It’s sad how many people get stuck on irrelevant concepts or in fruitless arguments. We waste time and energy in places we shouldn’t be involved. Upside down teacups mean zip to someone with debt and no savings, don’t they? You and I will stick to the real issues:
- Torch your debt.
- Start building wealth NOW!
- Build defensive strategies to avoid getting burned.
…or we can use this guy’s approach and buy a lottery ticket.
Whatever. Just Focus On the Right Tree In Your Forest
I bring this up because a popular blog recently debated the semantics of early retirement. Apparently, Mr. Blogger has his panties in a bunch because somebody on the internet said he really wasn’t retired. Then follows a 1,000+ word piece retorting that, yes, in fact, Mr. Blogger really is retired. There are tons of comments and righteous outrage on the piece….comments like, “You tell them, Mr. Blogger!” People are oh, so, so angry.
…and about what?
I think the blogger’s brilliant, by the way. It’s not that he has a smart argument. It’s more that he’s built a whole blog post (and in many ways a whole blog) on an irrelevant argument (in this case his big “proof” that he’s right is because he has “the biggest blog about early retirement on the internet” … proving what again????) and the villagers are following with pitchforks and fires, ready to kill the heretics who dare cross Mr. Blogger.
It’s funny, and totally upside down teacup. It’s another play for the pedestal for Mr. Blogger. Yawn. He already has that pedestal. What about your own pedestal? What about your own dreams? Who gives a shit about whether you can live in the woods making your own furniture and still be called “retired.”
I’m going to start calling myself Superman. Does it matter what I’m called?
I hope you don’t see this as a Control Your Cash-style rant against any blogger. It isn’t. As I mentioned, I really like the dude’s considerable writing talent. If you’re striving for independence, though, let’s look at the forest and see the right tree. The correct tree has more to do with you and your goals than it has to do with anything else.
Whether Mr. Blogger wins a war about early retirement means nothing to you. Upside down teacups and ruby slippers won’t help you reach anything. Determining the steps to find and reach your own finish line is the right thing to focus on today and tomorrow.
You deserve to rock in life. Don’t get stuck holding the torch in a fight that has nothing to do with reaching your goals.
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