I came across an interesting fellow blogger here on blogspot who came up with what he calls "quotable quotes." If you know me well, I do my very best to avoid trite and worn out phrases, so I have renamed this post to something far less trite and far more fresh. . . Introducing what may well become an irregular yet periodic feature here, "Pithy Postulates." I'm reusing his oft-repeated sayings here, while the reflections will be my own. Just another reminder that true wisdom comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1). Those of us who are in tune with what God says in the Scriptures - and most importantly his heart - are hopefully more aware of the generous spreading around of that wisdom among his special creation, humankind. Hat tip to Robert Platt Bell, whose original post is here: http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2011/02/quotable-quotes.html I'd also recommend reading his blog generally. . . from the bit I've read already, he has some sound down home tested from the trenches wisdom about financial management that so many lack. That intro out of the way, here goes:
- The more complicated you can make any financial transaction, the easier it is to fleece the consumer.
- They throw pennies at us, hoping we spend dollars.
- Generate your own normative cues!
- Any business relationship predicated on a lie, no matter how trivial, will inevitably go down from there.
While in the process of going through the day's activities, a young woman came to the door and stated she was a friend of ours from Tennessee. We're in California. . . and so that raised my wife's and my own suspicions as to her trustworthiness (lying to us). Sure enough, she was here to sell us some kind of subscription to get her a scholarship for college - heard that before for many many years. Told her we as a family policy don't do unsolicted business with folks we don't ask to see. . . she walked away. See! Works like a charm!
- If someone tries to sell you "Peace of Mind," keep one hand on your wallet.
- So when someone asks you to cheat, chances are, it is because they want to cheat YOU.
- Using the tax code as an investment guide is a bad idea.
- You can't deduct your way to wealth!
Similarly, lately we've had "Cash for Clunkers" and new car tax credits to spur new car sales. Those who bought cars then got a better deal than I did, who bought my new car 15 days after the credit expired. Sigh. But both of us ended up spending money for new cars, new car purchase tax credit or not. Spending money is not saving money. Don't let the tax code rule you. . . let Jesus be your kindly, gentle benevolent ruler and live life according to His will, not the tax code's.
- Act Rationally in an Irrational World
I remember getting sales pitches via the telephone and direct mail telling me now was the moment to buy into real estate. Buy a house, rent it out for a while, and "flip" it for the easy profit with house prices rising. Funny thing is. . . as with any purchase, there is a downside risk. What if you become "upside down" in the rental house's mortgage? It's happened a lot these days. We all know how the real estate market is now, right? Considerably down from where it was a few years ago. Stay a step ahead of the get rich quick schemers. Ignore them!
- All advertising is based on the simple premise of persuading a consumer to act in a manner that is NOT in their own financial self interest.
Ever notice that companies about to go out of business or are poorly run often do the most advertising? Why are they advertising in the first place? Because they don't have good "word of mouth." They have to recruit folks who've never tried them, the young, the new immigrants, the unaware, the unsuspecting. And they do it with great precision, let me tell you. Circuit City, Hollywood Video, Blockbuster Video and Montgomery Ward (!) come to mind. Only one of these is still in regular business anymore. Two of them are with new owners selling via the Internet. Don't get me started. . . (grrr. . ..)
- While it may be safer in the center of the herd, the grass is all trampled down and pooped upon.
Consider the real estate market from say, 1995 to 2005. In 1995 most people were risk averse to buying - always a good signal to check out and see if it makes sense to buy (because many folks took their losses in the immediate years prior). Conversely, in 2005 I had letters and phone calls begging me to sell my property - a good sign that the market was becoming overheated and unsustainable, and yes, about to collapse - a signal to get out of the market. And it did of course collapse. As we know now, everyone else was buying at the top of the real estate market in 2005 when that was the time to actually sell.
Another mistake some people make is to buy every insurance policy covering every circumstance known to mankind. This include buying extended warranties on things like garbage disposers and home computer printers. Do yourself a favor: keep your hard earned money and just say no. Cover the true catastrophic sitations that would bankrupt you, and for the things that you typically go out and replace, don't even consider buying an extended warranty! Please, folks! Don't make me beg. . .
- Never confuse getting lucky with being brilliant.
- If someone can't explain what they do for a living in ten words or less, they are probably lying to you.
Please feel free to continue the discussion via the "Comments" hyperlink below. It would be nice to hear your thoughts as well.