You Are Already Wealthy, Stop Complaining!

The following is a guest post by long time reader and entrepreneur, Investor Junkie!  IJ writes about how we should stop our complaining, and realize we are wealthier than the large majority of the world.

If you live in the United States, you are wealthy beyond what most others dream of. Your salary is 99% higher than of the world population.  Visit areas like India, and Africa, and you’ll see what real poverty looks like. If you moved there, you could live like a king! Don’t believe me?  Visit Global Rich List and plug in your yearly salary.

So what exactly does it mean to be wealthy anyways?  It’s all relative to the environment you live in. What might be considered below the poverty level in the USA ($22,050 for a family of four), might be considered well off when living in say Uganda.  According to the Global Rich List even at the US poverty level, you still make more money than 89% of the world.

If you look at the Wikipedia chart, you will see the USA has the most wealth compared to any other country (including Japan). No other country comes close to the USA.  So while you may not feel wealthy comparative to what you see in the media, you still are better off than 99% of the world population.  In terms of average income,  the USA is only 13th in the world, but we still have more stored wealth than any other country.

Stop complaining that you can’t afford that new Lexus you lust for. Many people around the world don’t even own a car! They get from place to place by bicycle. It’s true you may not live like a rock star, famous actor, or business titan, but you live better than most.

Most people in the United States have:

Book Review & Giveaway: “Your Money Ratios”

your-money-ratiosPublisher: The Penguin Group.  Hard cover. 257-pages. Price: $26.

Author: Charles Farrell, JD., LL.M., investment adviser with Northstar Investment Advisors, in Denver.  He writes the “Retirement Roadmap” column for CBS Moneywatch.

Review: “Your Money Ratios” sings to me!  For someone who loves using ratios such as the 1/10th rule for car buying, and 30/30/3 rule for home buying, I absolutely adore this book.  Charles’ writing style is very balanced and easy to understand.  When it comes to math, many people, including myself fall asleep.  But, if you can just do simple division and multiplcation, this book will keep you on the right path towards financial security.

Charles’ “Unifying Theory of Personal Finance” is his core philosophy that all decisions you make should help move you from being a laborer to being a capitalist.  In other words, make money work for you, and not the other way around.  It’s important that with every single monetary decision you make, you ask yourself will this help you become a capitalist or not.

Capital To Income Ratio

The Samurai Fund – All Hands On Deck!

Searching For Fortune On The Fund’s Yacht

With great pleasure, I announce the launch of The Samurai Fund!

Thesis: Through random selection based solely off permutations of reader’s names (personal or site title), we are able to create a long-only mutual fund that will outperform the S&P 500 index!

Fund Details: $1,672,003 billion launch, $100/share NAV, with 17 positions equally weighted.  Concentrated multi-strategy portfolio with defensive names in the alcohol and utility space, as well as higher beta names in technology and health sciences.  Small caps and large cap names included.  S&P 500 start value 1,115 benchmark.

Investment Outlook 2010: The stock market continues to rebound, but at a slower pace.  Inflation and interest rates remain benign, leading to a re-emergence of consumer spending.  Housing stabilizes with 30-year mortgage rates staying below 6.5%.  The government maintains record spending to stimulate the economy and the unemployment rate begins to fall in the second half of the year.  The S&P 500 increases by 10-15% with a blue-sky target of 1,322.

Duration & Rules: One year.  The bottom 3 performers will be up for review every quarter. To stay in the fund, one must write a convincing argument as to why we should not cut our losses.  Picks down more than 20% also will be re-evaluated.

Goals: To have fun, learn something about the stock markets, prove a theory that luck plays a big part in performance, and to build better relationships with the community.

Contributors: Please retweet and spread the word to any of the social media sharing sites below.  We need all the support we can get to outperform the professionals!  Contributors are encouraged to provide updates and commentary as the months progress.  If anybody wants to do a portfolio analysis below, please feel free to do so!

*** STOCK PICKS SUMMARY WITH CONTRIBUTORS ***

Samurai Predictions And Resolutions For 2010

It’s amazing how quickly time goes by.  Usually, I get nostalgic this time of year, reminiscing about all the memories over the last 12 months.  Not this year.  Let us remember that we went through an economic blitzkrieg in 2009, and I am so glad it’s over!

The one thing I am really hopeful for is a rebound in employment. Over the past 3 months, I’ve encountered so many positive job data points in my industry from friends and acquaintances on the job front, I’m absolutely hopeful those who are seeking jobs, or better opportunities will find them in 2010.  Companies always over fire during downturns, and therefore have to scramble to rehire in this upturn. Below are five more predictions you don’t even have to think won’t come true!

FIVE PREDICTIONS THAT MOST CERTAINLY WILL COME TRUE

The Katana: Lauching The Samurai Fund To Prove A Theory 12/28

The S&P 500 is up about 22% year-to-date, and up 69% since bottoming at lucky 666 in early March.  Being up 22% after being down 40% in 2008, still means the average portfolio is down 27% from the 2007 peak.  You may fool yourself into thinking the average 401K balance of $50,000 has recuperated most of its losses, but you’re confusing contribution with performance i.e. going from $50,000 down to $30,000 (40% loss), but contributing $16,500 + a 22% rebound ($6,600 on $30K) = $52,000 does NOT mean you’re back to even!

The tipping point in your 401K, where performance starts outweighing a maximum $16,500 annual contribution is roughly $200,000. Once you have $200,000, the real juice comes from performance where an 8% return equals roughly the maximum contribution you can make every year.

There are two lessons to be learned in 401K land: 1) Contribute the max to your 401K every year, and in 10 years, you will likely have $200,000 given company matches, and performance (even in this past decade) and 2) Once you reach $200,000, you’re going to hurt like no other if you lose 40%, or $80,000 of your portfolio, so diversify!  The sword cuts both ways.

IN SEARCH OF LUCK WITH FORESIGHT

I’ve only had a couple big stock hits in my life, and I attribute it all to LUCK.  Of course, I also attribute all my loss making ideas to BAD LUCK, and not to poor timing, bad fundamental analysis, and generally not understanding what the hell I’m investing in!

Essentially, I believe with a lot of luck and a little bit of effort we can outperform the markets.  Hence, let’s see if the PF community can outperform the S&P 500 with our own randomly unscientific stock picks based on permutations of our own names and blog titles!

THE SAMURAI FUND – CONTRIBUTION GUIDELINES: