Six Figure Incomes & Unemployment – Challenging Reality By Engaging The Community

UnderarockFree Money Finance wrote a solid post on how to make “6 Figures in 7 years” over at GRS. By the time I got to his post, there were already 95 comments with a very negative undertone.  When I just questioned whether only 5.6% of the working population makes over $100,000/yr, there was even more negative reaction.  Fellow commenter Sarah wrote, “You are out of touch with reality!” Umm, I didn’t make a statement, I just asked a question.

I challenged the 5.6% assumption because out of the 100+ comments, 20 people claim they make over 100k.  That’s 20% of the sample set, and much more than the US Census Bureau’s data would suggest.  Perhaps the whole topic just brings about more people who are making over 100K to begin with.  If that’s the case, what are you doing commenting on a post on how to make over 100K if you’re already there?  Bragging isn’t very becoming, although I’d be curious to know what all readers make over here at FS.

Why Becoming Debt Free Is Not A Great Idea!

 

We Don't Need No Medicine!

We Don't Need No Medicine!

I’m pleased to bring you a guest post by faithful reader and commenter, Larry Ludwig (bio below).  He writes a thought provoking piece about challenging the norm of becoming debt free.  You’ll be smarter after reading this, guaranteed!  Enjoy, and as always, feel free to debate away!  Rgds, Financial Samurai

You’ve heard the financial gurus like Dave Ramsey perform pasectomies on his show and Suze Orman with her numerous “I have 50k in debt” guests.  The gurus all say, debt is bad, credit is evil, and being debt free is nirvana, yada yada yada.  While I do think as a whole Americans have too much consumer debt, the goal of being completely debt free is actually a terrible idea. Let me be specific: buying things that depreciate with debt is bad, that big screen TV, new clothing or car.  Most of the financial gurus do not make this distinction and make all debt to be “evil”.

I believe Rich Dad/Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki has said it best, “There is good and bad debt and being debt free is more risky than having good debt.”.  Now before you go off on my recommendation of Robert and his questionable background, I believe his statement is sound and correct.

The primary reasons are:
•    Opportunity Cost
•    Asset Allocation
•    Inflation
•    Tax Deductions
•    Arbitrage
•    Leverage

Get An Umbrella Insurance Policy – Your Teenager Is Going To Bankrupt You

I was driving downtown to drop my wife off at the museum when a car started drifting dangerously into my lane.  I beeped the horn to alert the driver and when I drove by, the teenage kid in the back seat flicked me off!  I didn’t have a long annoying horn, nor a machine gun type rat-ta-tat-tat beep.  All I did was beep once so we wouldn’t collide.  The father was reading a map and driving at the same time.

I have to admit that my blood started to boil and I was tempted to blast him a new one when their car stopped next to me in front of the light.  Instead, I buzzed down my window, stared intently, and told the kid, “Don’t embarrass your parents.  I beeped at you guys because you were halfway in my lane and didn’t even know it.”

The dad was still clueless as to why I was talking to his punk kid and he also rolled down his window to ask, “What’s up?”

Should I Go To Grad School? Get Rich Or Die Trying!

I’ve decided to dedicate much of the rest of this month focusing on graduate schools, specifically the much loved and vilified graduate degree, the MBA.  The deadline for round 1 applications is fast approaching, and I’ve come up with a $1,000 giveaway that any aspiring MBA applicant, PhD applicant, or grad school applicant for that matter may be interested in receiving.  Hence, feel free to spread the word and stay tuned!  For now, let’s start off with a layup as to why getting your graduate degree is a good idea, if you want to make more money.

Many personal finance publishers use Net Worth IQ as a way to track their financial progress.  NW IQ managed to gather a bunch of good data to digest and analyze.  A lot of it is just common sense such as the older you are, the greater your net worth tends to be.

This is the chart that stood out most:

Education Profile Count % of Pop. Median Net Worth
Less than high school graduate 21 0.67 % $26,440
High school graduate 79 2.53 % $40,570
High school graduate with some college 322 10.32 % $25,189
Associate degree 117 3.75 % $46,464
Bachelors degree 1460 46.78 % $73,461
Masters, professional, doctoral degree 901 28.87 % $193,761
Total Reporting Users: 2900

Forbes Forgot A Key Ingredient For Becoming A Billionaire

Forbes came out with a fun article highlighting the 5 ingredients helpful for reaching billionaire status.  Shockingly, 3 of the ingredients pertain to me, yet I’m far from big bucks wealthy.  The only time I ever made a move towards Warren Buffet status was last November when he lost $9.6 billion on paper and I lost less.

Maybe I'll wear the tie on Monday Steve.

Maybe I'll wear the tie on Monday.

5 Key Ingredients For Becoming A Billionaire

1) Have parents with math-related careers.

2) Born in September.

3) Dropped out of college.

4) Member of a secret society like Yale’s Skull & Bones.

5) Worked a stint at Goldman Sachs.

I remember sitting next to Steve on a plane ride from Shanghai to Hong Kong 5 years ago.  The first thing I thought was, why is he flying commercial?  The second thing I thought was, I guess he really did have a lot of acne growing up!  Sorry Steve, I’m just being honest.  He was hosting a big Forbes-sponsored conference and he started going on and on about the emergence of growth in Asia.  He gave me a pep talk and said, “FS there’s no stopping what you want to do, so just go out there and grab it!”

We exchanged business cards, his saying “CEO, Editor in Chief of Forbes Magazine,” mine saying “Waterboy At Your Service” and we went about our separate ways.  Eight months later, I get an unceremonious Christmas present in the mail with a tie that says, “Corporate Tool.” Thanks Steve, what a trip!  At least you got me thinking about your flat tax mantra that generated so many comments this past week.

There’s a 6th ingredient for becoming a billionaire Steve forgot to mention.  That’s simply to be like Steve and inherit it!

Hope everybody is having a good weekend.

Related Post:

“The Less You Have The Less You Have To Lose”

“Bank of Mom And Dad: Should We Spoil Our Children?”

Keigu,

Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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