Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The World According To Morons

Noting the popularity of the new smart phone game, "Pokemon Go," and its coincident release with fresh all-time highs on the S&P 500 and Dow Industrial Average, it can be safely assured that the civilized nations of planet earth have entered the final stage of self-destruction, in which morons - not zombies - take over the planet.

In some ways, the process of moron-izing the population is already well underway.

We are led to believe that voting for representatives in government actually is an expression of our freedom within a working democracy. When these representatives, from the president and members of congress on down to the local code enforcement officer, are proven to be solely interested in either re-election, amassing a fortune, or advancing their career paths and not working in the public interest we are called cynical or pessimistic.

Year after year, school budgets are increased while the quality of education is diminished. Normally intelligent-looking people vote to pay more in taxes to support a system that fails on a regular basis.

We pay good money for cable TV or other entertainment delivered to our homes or workplaces to watch people who are vastly overpaid do stupid things or play sports.

Investment professionals routinely lose money on investments with our hard-earned money and yet are hailed as experts within the financial community.

The vast majority of people can't raise a decent garden, hammer a nail or turn a screw. Still, they all complain that the infrastructure of the country is falling apart.

These are but a few examples of the lunacy that has nearly completely gripped our nation. The truth is that the people running things - politicians, bankers, CEOs - aren't all that bright. In fact, most of them are morons, versed only in maximizing their incomes, pensions and perks, but we follow them and aren't too overly distraught that they make 50-70 or 500 times what we do.

We should be, but it's getting a little late in the game to do anything about it. Besides, most of your contemporaries are morons with their noses stuck on their "smart" phones, playing the latest game app.

What can be done? Plenty.

Stand up, do something you haven't tried. Fix something that's broken. Pay less for things you usually buy, or just change your buying habits a little. Save the money, a little at a time, which will grow over time into something more substantial.

Stop voting. Period. Just stop. It only encourages bad behavior by the winners and losers alike.

Spending on frivolities is maybe a favorite of yours. As you grow older, you'll discover that spending money - often money you don't already have (credit) - is a behavior to be avoided. Spending on things you don't need, but only want, can be destructive to your finances.

A way to combat the incessant need to spend, foisted upon us by the media, commerce and ad industry, is to institute no-spend days. This can start as an experiment, as in a "No-Spend Sunday," and expanded to multiple days. It's pretty easy to do. Just buy what you'll need for a few days, and then don't spend any money over the next few.

(I'm currently in the midst of a three-out-of-four no-spend days. After a successful no-spend Saturday and Sunday, I realized I needed beer and ice on Monday, so I reluctantly spent $12.76. Today, Tuesday is a no-spend no-brainer).

It's a rewarding habit, as you end up with more cash in your pocket and a sense of accomplishment, when you actually accomplished little, other than not buying anything.

But, of course, morons won't understand this simple concept.

Until next time,

-- Fearless Rick

Today's markets were horribly dull, likely the result of central banks doing most of the trading over the past few weeks, months, years(?). They decided to not goose the markets any more, since they got over the desired all-time highs, for now. That should work until the next financial non-event, like Brexit, scares out the weak hands or causes some Alphas in the herd to take profits.

The S&P traded in a 10-point range over the entire session; the Dow, 75 points; the NASDAQ range was 33 points.


At the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,372.12, +24.45 (0.13%)

NASDAQ Composite
5,005.73, -17.09 (-0.34%)

S&P 500
2,152.43, +0.29 (0.01%)

NYSE Composite
10,734.16, +7.38 (0.07%)

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