(Inaugural post of the Satire Series)
Happy New Year to my fellow Dividend FIREpersons! Are you tired of being unhappy about money? Do you always wonder why everyone else seems to have more money than you? It’s because you’re doing it wrong. Now is the time to finally get your finances straight, and Dividend FIREman is here to help. What follows is my guaranteed recipe for 2018 success!
First, let’s review the 8 main categories of investments you should have. Just as fat, caffeine, sugar, and salt are the 4 main food groups that should be part of your diet every day, there are also certain core investments that should be in everyone’s portfolio. Here is a handy list, which somehow I was unable to find anywhere on the internet. You should feel free to cut and paste, and make into a background for your phone:
8 Core Holdings for a Successful Financial Portfolio
Whole Life Insurance
Actively managed mutual funds
With these 8 core holdings, you will have a solid personal infrastructure that will keep you in “Money City” in 2018. I have discussed each of these core holdings in my “18 Tips for 2018” recommendations below.
18 Tips for 2018 – Guaranteed Ways to Financial Heaven in 2018
Here are 18 guaranteed ways to bring financial happiness to your life in 2018:
1. Buy a brand new car, preferably one with all the bells and whistles. The more expensive the better. Buy it on credit and focus on the payments rather than the total cost. Buying two or more new cars would be ideal. And don’t you dare forget the extended warranty for each car.
2. Buy a boat. Now. And make sure you keep it in expensive dry storage. Trailers are for suckers, and who wants to have a boat in their backyard anyway? They will take much better care of it in the dry storage warehouse. Just as with your cars, focus on the payments only when making your purchase decision.
3. Speaking of boats and cars, don’t buy pre-owned (or as I like to say, “used up and discarded”). You will just be buying someone else’s problems. Buy new. The people who talk about instant depreciation “as soon as you take it off the lot” are just jealous.
4. For big ticket purchases, wait until you are in an emotionally vulnerable state. Then go out and buy the first thing you see, without doing any research, price comparisons, or shopping around.
5. Speaking of big ticket purchases, you do not need to worry about these very large purchases. It is the small numbers that you need to worry about. Haven’t you ever heard of “death by a thousand cuts?” Make sure you check the price of your Diet Coke every week, so you know you aren’t getting ripped off by paying $1.43 more than you should for that 12 pack every week. And save yourself $2.49 every week by only buying old bread on sale. That’s $129.48 per year, dunderhead! You’re throwing money away if you don’t focus on these small expenses.
6. But don’t worry about the big purchases. When someone challenges the fact that you just spent $15,000 for a down payment on your new boat, mock them and ask how many full price 12 packs they could buy for that one-time splurge (at $1.43 cents, they could buy 10,489 overpriced 12 packs of soda – that’s 200 years of full-priced soda every week. Or they could buy 6,024 loaves of fresh bread instead of the day-old bread – 115 years of full-priced bread every week). It may make you feel bad to mock others like this, but some people really don’t understand the value of money.
7. Get divorced now. It makes good financial sense to take one financial household and turn it into two. Kids love it. And the transaction costs are very low. Lawyers are much cheaper, now that there are so many of them. Make sure you fight like a wildcat with your soon-to-be former spouse, to be sure you get all of the small personal possessions (you NEED that Disney keychain from 1997 – it could be valuable!). If you aren’t married, then get married immediately. Don’t wait to make sure the relationship is right. Spend a huge amount on the wedding and honeymoon, way more than you can afford. Borrow the money if possible. You can pay it off later.
8. Don’t cut the cord. In fact, keep your cable plan AND your home phone, as well as all other relics of the 20th century. Stay away from the “flavor of the month, like those ridiculous index funds, for example. Stay with the tried and true actively managed mutual funds. Higher investment fees translate into better performance. Otherwise how could they justify the high fees?
9. Pick dividend stocks based solely on their current yield. After all, if a dividend is good, a higher dividend is even better, right? The company wouldn’t be paying it if they couldn’t afford it. Don’t focus on things like profitability, long-term prospects, dividend-to-free-cash ratios, or other financial data (I like to call these “pesky details”). You only care about one thing, which is yield. Load up on those high yield stocks!
10. Don’t research your investments. Pick your stocks, bonds, or mutual funds based on “top five“ articles you find on the Internet. Research is for suckers and is a waste of your valuable time. If those pundits were wrong, how could they keep their jobs? (Sometimes people’s ignorance about basic facts like this just amazes me). If you don’t want to waste time finding those “top five” articles, then simply purchase an annuity, preferably more than one. The company selling it has already done the research for you! Make sure you place all of your annuities with the same company, and focus on who gives the highest return, rather than the financial strength of the issuing company. Don’t pay attention to the limits of your state’s annuity guaranty fund. And put as much of your money into annuities as you can.
11. Don’t worry about eating right and exercising. There will be plenty of time for that in the future.
12. Focus more on your job and your career than on the things that will always be there, like your family. Money is the most important thing. And make sure you talk about your money as much as you can. Other people love to hear about your smart investment decisions.
13. When you start earning more, spend more. You work hard – you deserve it! Oscar Wilde once said that “anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” If it’s good enough for Oscar Wilde, it’s good enough for you.
14. Work harder, not smarter. Your return on an extra hour of work is finite and limited (i.e. good enough for you). Just because a new business idea, a blog, a book, a website, or a song offers an unlimited potential return on your time investment doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I mean you’ll probably fail anyway, right? So why even bother trying to make more efficient use of your limited time?
15. Don’t be a wimp and make conservative money decisions. Think BOLD every time you sit down to look at your finances. It is always good to be BOLD and take risks with your cash (haven’t you ever heard the expression “more risk equals more reward”?). If you need help, call your insurance salesman or commission-based financial advisor. They have spent a lot of time and money educating themselves, and they knows best. Under no circumstances should you use a “fee for service” financial advisor, or a Certified Financial Planner. You want your advisor to have some skin in the game.
16. Run up those credit cards if you haven’t already. Spending is good for the economy. Plus, you can take cash advances, and put that money to work for you in an annuity or permanent life insurance policy. In this “new economy,” the stock market will never stop going up. Your returns will certainly be higher than the interest rate on the cash advances! Just make sure you make only the minimum payment on each card once you max it out, so that you can use “their” money as long as possible (don’t tell anyone, but credit card companies apparently don’t know that they’re giving money away.) The best part of this credit card thing is that higher debt is tangible evidence that you are living the way you deserve to be living. It takes out the guesswork. If you have high credit card debt, you KNOW you are living the high life.
17. As for stocks, remember that when stocks are going up, you should buy more! This time is different. Stocks will keep going up. If the market crashes, get out while you can before it goes to zero, and then buy more annuities or timeshares.
18. The more exotic the investment, the better it is. Another way of saying this is that the less you understand an investment, the more money you should put into it. After all, people much smarter than you and me created it.
19. BONUS TIP! Real estate is where it’s at. Buy an expensive home that is much larger than you need – you must have evidence of how much money you have. Otherwise how will people know? And when the house goes up in value, you will earn even more returns (don’t worry, real estate always goes up in value, just like stocks). Get yourself a vacation home too, if you can. Timeshares are the best real estate investments, but those are hard to come by.
So there you have it. A proven plan for financial happiness in 2018. Follow these tips, and you are guaranteed a 2018 full of leisure and happiness.
I would be remiss if I did not list out the things that you definitely SHOULD NOT do in 2018 with your money and investments. Below is the list. You will see how ridiculously easy it is. Even a child could follow these simplistic rules, which tells you everything you need to know.
- Live below your means
- Spend less than you earn.
- Invest the difference.
See, I told you it was too simple.
Happy investing in 2018!