Is There Ever A Right Time To Upgrade Your Engagement Ring?

One of my old friends, Peter mentioned the other day that he got engaged.  He’s 37 and she’s 28.  They met about 4 years ago at a bar when he was somewhat inebriated but immediately hit it off.

Peter isn’t exactly the most studly looking guy standing at 5′ 7″ with a belly hanging over his belt, but he’s kind.  They are two months into their engagement and don’t plan to get married until next summer.  All was going well until one night, Peter’s fiance Nancy inquired about when she could upgrade her engagement ring!

YOUNG EXPECTATIONS

When Rich People Call You Cheap

I ran into one of my golfing buddies the other day while waiting for a colleague.  Greg the golfer is an every day fella who so happens to be worth north of $20 million dollars.  I don’t know exactly how much he makes a year, but it’s likely at least $3 million during normal economic times.  He’s a powerful man who deserves everything he earns, but sometimes he’s just vexing.

We got to catching up about the latest gossip on tour when he asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee at Starbucks.  I told him I was good, largely because coffee hurts my stomach, not to mention I’m supposed to be waiting for my colleague at this exact spot and time to attend a meeting.  Greg responds, “Of course not, you are so cheap!” in a snide, but joking sort of way.  Unfortunately, every joke has a meaning, and being called cheap is one of the most annoying things to ever hear.

CAN’T COMPARE

Is It Better To Rent To Males Or Females?

Rent to Olivia Munn or…

Last night I got a written notice in the mail informing me that my tenant of 2.5 years is moving back East!  Can you believe it?  How could he leave paradise to move back home to the sweltering heat of New Jersey?  I will never know.  Anyway,  I’m really sad to see him go because he was as close to the ideal tenant as possible.

Ned paid on time, was quiet, held no raging parties, and never bothered me to come fix anything.  OK, so there were several times when he needed an extra week or two to pay rent, but in the end he always delivered.

As a landlord for many years, here are the basics of what I’m looking for in a tenant:

The Four Different Ways To Spend Money By Milton Friedman

The reason why Warren Buffet is so great is because he’s able to distill the most complicated financial topics into very simple terms.  Lucky for us, there is someone like Warren in the economics world.  Regular reader, Investor Junkie who disagrees with the government’s unemployment insurance extension, but agrees with the cessation of rising taxes, highlights a fantastic video by the great economist Milton Friedman about four different ways of spending money.

Professor Friedman’s examples are simple and perfectly to the point.  In an environment where we are spending other people’s money on someone else (deciding how other people’s tax dollars are spent), we don’t maximize the value of the dollar because we simply don’t have much at stake.

Professor Friedman highlights that people spending someone else’s money on others is a “distributor of welfare funds.”  Strong words with a certain amount of truth wouldn’t you agree?  In “The Ultimate Solution To A Fair Tax Policy In America”, I discuss the concept of limiting the voting ability of the 47% of non tax paying Americans on raising taxes for the other 53%.   Don’t worry, voting rights for everything else is status quo.  The reason why I suggest this rational solution is because it makes sure the country isn’t overrun by those who have their cake (don’t pay taxes) and get to eat it too (enjoy the benefits).

One can easily see an America where 90%+ of citizens don’t pay taxes and stick it to the 10% rich because it’s rational to look out for your own interests.  It’s up to balanced people who believe in equity to continue fighting for those who perpetually get unfairly blamed for our economy’s problems.  It really is ironic, because if everybody studied hard in school, volunteered their time to help others, and were self-sufficient (doesn’t have to be wealthy), America wouldn’t have nearly the amount of problems we have now!

The 4 Ways Of Spending

1) Spend your own money on yourself.

2) Spend your own money on somebody else.

3) Spend somebody else’s money on yourself.

4) Spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.

Readers, do you agree or disagree with Professor Friedman’s thesis that the 4th way of spending is the worst way of spending?  If you do agree, why do you think people feel it’s OK to spend other people’s money as they wish?

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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The Carrot That Makes You Jump Through Hoops

One of my best friends is blessed with skinny genes.  At 5′ 3″ tall, she weighs all of 105 pounds.  When we go out to eat, she doesn’t just order a glass of iced tea and salad with dressing on the side.  She goes all out with mash potatoes, creamed spinach, BBQ oysters and then a nice juicy ribeye for a main course!  I gawk in amazement at her appetite while secretly groaning at trying to keep up towards the end.  After all, shouldn’t she eat 40% less than me if she weighs 40% less?  Guess not!

Despite my friend’s envious genetics, she isn’t exactly iron woman when it comes to sports and outdoor activities.  After three miles on a 10 mile bike ride, she’s pooped and waves at me to take a break.  Meanwhile, I’m going “lah, lah, lah” in my head, not even breaking a sweat as I soak in the glorious views of the Bay.  I let her catch up and we take a five minute pit-stop where she catches her breath as I go do some stretches and sit-ups.

THE GIMMICK