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tony

America, We have A Problem

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Someone in the comments  section wrote this. I kind of agree but I also agree with the article. Hmm.

"The problem is, the more money one has, the easier it becomes for them to make it grow at a faster rate. There are rich people out there, no fault of there own, who say, "I'm not trying to become richer, but I do, and I cannot help it." Why? Rich people do not always live rich. And their money compounds if they have it invested in businesses, via common stock. When businesses make money, the investor becomes wealthier. If the business they are invested in declines in business, then so will the value of the money the investor invested in the business. The knife cuts both ways.

I don't consider myself rich. Although I am technically a millionaire, a million dollars is not as much money as it once was.

At my peak, before the virus, my net worth reached $2.8M. On 23 March 2020 my net worth was $1.9M. On paper I lost $900K. I didn't do anything. I know by doing nothing when the market corrects or crashes is better than panicking and selling, realizing a loss. I just held on. My stocks recovered about 2/3rds bringing my net worth to around $2.5M today.

Do I want to become wealthier? Sure, but not for me. For my kids and grand kids. Am I hurting anyone if I become wealthier? I do not see how? Instead, I believe by loaning my money to big business in exchange for dividend cash and stock appreciation, I am helping Americans get and keep good paying jobs. In return, the company shares their profits with me in the form of a cash dividend every 3-months. But I do not keep that cash dividend for myself. Instead, I give it right back to the company, such as Nike, or Apple, or Johnson & Johnson, buying more dividend paying shares of stock, compounding my dividend cash because every new share starts paying me too.

Recently, a competitive phenomenon happened. Schwab stopped charging commissions. So did TD Ameritrade. Today anyone can buy 1 share of stock or a million shares of stock for the price of the stock only; no commission.

So anybody, for free, can open an account at a brokerage firm that charges no commission. They can deposit whatever amount of money the wish, then buy whatever shares of stock their money can afford. And they too can sit back allowing their money to work in 3M, or Pepsi-Cola, Stanley Black & Decker or Proctor & Gamble or Costco. The downside is, businesses can go out of business. If you buy McDonald's and they go out of business, you could lose all your money. When I say, I am afraid McDonald's might go out of business soon, do you believe me? If you say no, then you have enough courage to be an investor too.

Does this make you or I evil if we give our money to business, taking personal risk, with a chance of being rewarded with greater value or chances of losing some or all the value of the money we invested?  

I did something to become relatively wealthy. I worked hard and saved my money. I lived frugally eating Ramen noodles, cracked eggs, oatmeal and spaghetti in my teen to early 20s youth. I borrowed money while painting homes to pay for college. I endured college, working hard to get good grades proving to a future employer I could learn. The military approached me and offered me an opportunity to work for them for 20-years to be rewarded with a 50% pay retirement. I thought that was a good deal. So I joined the military, writing a blank check on my life, and worked as hard as I could to earn promotions and work my way up to a better income. Then I retired and got my 50% pay retirement.  

Now here I am. An evil one to some who say I should not have what I have. They say I was lucky. They suggest I must have done something nefarious in my life, stepping on the less fortunate, taking food from their mouths, to get where I am.

I started with nothing and some debt. My choices in life, recognizing opportunity when opportunity came along, made all the difference. I worked hard, sometimes 12-hours or more per day week days and weekends. If the military called me at 3am to be at work by 4am, I jumped from my bed and reported to work. I did not dare complain. I could drive a $100,000 Mercedes today. Instead I drive a 2006 Nissan Frontier with dents in the front and rear passenger door. I don't want decadence. I will give it all away to my kids and grand kids, who some will consider evil too one day".

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I’m struggling to think of a lie bigger than the economy awards hard work with money. I promise you every time I got a higher paying job, it requires less work.

The wealth distribution in America is a result of political choices we started making in the 70s that hurt working people. It isn’t complicated.

...and somebody with 2.8M who doesn’t consider themselves to be rich and thinks by consolidating even more wealth they’ll be helping everyday people, do we really need to hear anything that person has to say on wealth? Completely out of touch. 

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Probably an unpopular take, but Amazon is a dumpster fire from a user experience perspective. When I search for products:

  • I consistently get results that in no way match my query; this is a well solved problem in computer science.
  • I consistently get results that I'm not allowed to buy because I don't have Prime or Pantry or whatever other package they sell.
  • I don't believe they allow you to sort on a price/unit basis.
  • They also don't show you the all in cost of buying something....some include shipping while others hide the cost of shipping until checkout.

I understand the barrier to entry is extremely high, but what a weakness in their system. It's shocking.

...also, no human being could ever need more than a couple million and no human being has ever done something that is "worth" billions and those who have come closest were definitely not paid billions.

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