We’re back again with what’s turning out to be a really entertaining series showcasing curiously angry comments from readers who find my site through online search. Just to give you some background, roughly 75% of this site’s ~500,000 pageviews a month comes from new readers through search engines such as Google. Many of these visitors hit the site once, don’t subscribe to my e-mail feed or RSS feed and never bother understanding my background or going through the archives. You wouldn’t be so silly as to not subscribe would you?
I really enjoy highly opinionated comments. The more extreme the comment the better because I think points can more easily be made when we go to extremes. For example, I like to tell personal finance clients, “Consistently spending money they don’t have is like jabbing a long needle into their left eyeball.” They can still see out of their right eyeball, but life is going to be one big bloody mess if they continue their poor money habits.
This latest comment comes from “James Morrison” on my post “The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Person“. The post has 400 comments and is somewhat controversial because I provide a chart for what I think “above average” people have in terms of net worth. The people who are most upset are those who think they are above average, but are not within my net worth range. Because the construction of my above average net worth chart is very thorough, I feel it might have enraged some people because truths hurt. At the same time, the figures are based off my opinion. There is no law that dictates what one should have.
It’s always fascinating as a writer to figure out how to engage the audience. What’s more fascinating is the fact that commenter James Morrison says he is “in the top end of my above average” range for his age, yet he still went berserk. Furthermore, he left a derogatory URL address that I won’t share. Let’s have a read!
James Morrison’s first comment:
Here is a statistic for you kids . . .
I would say 80-90% of you are LYING!! The author included.
Now if even half of these are true then it was CLEARLY a case of “mommy and daddy are rich and gave me everything.”
DON’T KEEP LYING TO YOURSELVES!!
I have multiple friends whose families have net worth in the millions and they have good jobs right out of college and aren’t even CLOSE to these numbers.
It seems like you just made this up to make yourself feel better. I would highly doubt if you are making that much you would even bother to write an article like this. . .
This is obvious. . .
You people are in reality, just trying to make yourselves feel better.
It’s true, really reality check yourselves and maybe you’ll see that living in a fantasy world is NOT the same as a basis in reality.
Trust me, and I am in the top end of your “average.”
BUT I HAD ZERO HELP FROM FAMILY ZERO!!!
NO ONE HERE CAN SAY THE SAME!!!
Thanks for your kind comment.
Can you share where your anger is coming from, even as you say “I am in the top end of your average”? Are you saying that it’s OK for you to be in the range, but not everyone else? If so, why do you think you are more special?
There’s a lot more money out there than people think. People are just practicing the Stealth Wealth Movement.
James Morrison’s response:
Sarcasm noted, thanks for trying to “act like the bigger person” by deflecting the negativity with a “positive” comment, textbook psychology.
I am just saying most of these posters are lying about their TRUE LIQUID net worth, home equity is not stable as we all have seen from the last decade and the same is true for stocks. But of course this is common knowledge for all of you “20s millionaires.”
ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and other supposedly “stable” investments are at an all time low return, and unless you have at least a cumulative 1 million in one of these type of accounts accounts, after taxes, you make little to no meaningful money. (Still better then nothing.)
I am just saying that if even half of these stories are true there was OBVIOUSLY A HELP FROM THE PARENTAL SIDE OF THEIR LIFE and I would guess that zero to no one came from “nothing.” Yet everyone of these “success” stories, no true logistics are mentioned, just random numbers.
If these stories are indeed accurate then your “net worth of the above average person” should read “the net worth of daddy and mommies money helped me.”
As I stated previously, all of my friends whose parents I would consider “well off,” aka 2+ million in worth still graduate with debt, even if it is just a little bit, and MOST of them immediately continue the lifestyle their parents success afforded them their entire lives, meaning your “goals” are pretty much unreachable unless you started out with a substantial nest egg right out of college and forgo having children until your 30s or later.
I was looking for a real article with some depth and strategy and instead I find a generic “shift your assets from A>B>C (early in life) to C>B>A (late in life).
This just feels like a jack off thread where people can come to sniff their own excrement and try and make others, who might actually be looking for some real guidance, feel bad.
Articles like these are pretty worthless, and I would have not been angered at all if I was not just looking for something you can learn from common sense.
Like I said, the fact that you still try and maintain an active posting thread in such a retarded article I would guess that your TRUE net worth isn’t even over 200k and your age is much older then you imply.
If I am wrong then go ahead and feel good about yourself, but I seriously doubt your current job writing “feel good about lying to yourself” threads pays the bills, let alone allowing you to build any kind of meaningful wealth.
LET’S BREAK DOWN WHAT’S GOING ON HERE
First of all, I have no intention of writing posts to piss people off. The “Above Average Net Worth Post” was written in a way to provide some idea of what net worth targets to shoot for by age. I carefully break down pre-tax, post-tax, and property equity to arrive at my figures. If you read or re-read the post, I think you’d agree with me that the post doesn’t insult your mother. I’m also flattered he thinks I’m much older than I imply. Maybe all this time writing has made me a better communicator, despite all my typos.
Second of all, I just don’t understand why he is so angry when he’s in the top end of my above average ranges for however old he is. Doesn’t his net worth therefore help justify my calculations? He’s part of the mass affluent class so what’s the problem here? I understand that we all believe we are special, but the law of averages don’t work that way. Is he angry because he felt that he was super special for the longest time, yet once he stumbled across my post, he now feels average, even though the estimates are for above average people?
Finally, it sounds like he was severely neglected by his parents with multiple references to the bank of mom and dad helping everyone out. It’s as if his parents left him to fend for himself, naked against a pack of wolves in the middle of the woods. If this is the case, I feel bad for James. I had two parents growing up who did the best they could to make me a good citizen. I’ve had plenty of mistakes and indiscretions in the past, and would have many more without my parent’s guidance. And yes, my parents did pay the $2,800 a year in public university tuition between 1995-1999. I’m very grateful to get such support.
James isn’t a long time reader of Financial Samurai, but even if a post really pisses me off, I don’t think I could be bothered to write a 700 word comment. There needs to be some serious demons in my head or time on my hands to be able to expel so much energy. I’m very glad he believes that my net worth “isn’t even over 200K” because that means I’ve been able to properly position myself to blend in. But, James attributing all of my success to my parents is also disconcerting given how angry he is.
GETTING DEALT A BAD HAND AND DEALING WITH IT
It’s OK if everybody’s getting rich at the same time. But as soon as you stop getting rich and you see other people continue to get rich, that’s when things stop being OK. Wealth creation doesn’t go in a straight line upwards over time. We’ll have periods of tremendous financial dislocation as we saw with the 2008-2009 crash. Perhaps we’ll get laid off and stay unemployed for a year, thereby depleting our savings. Or maybe some of us will take a leap of faith and do something on our own, while earning practically no money for a couple years.
Someone is always going to be richer than you. Deal with it. Trying to put them down or discredit their achievements to make you feel better is not going to help your financial well-being. There are many lucky people out there with supportive parents, trust funds, good looks, fantastic timing and natural talents. We should focus on doing what we can with what we’ve got. Is growing up a poor orphan the only legit way to succeed?
When I was looking to buy my first property in 2001, I would regularly see 23 year olds walk around open houses with their parents. Not only would their parents pay for the 20% down payment on a $500,000+ property, some would even buy the property for their adult children out right. Complaining why the world isn’t fair would do me no good. Instead, I had to figure out how to save more money by working harder and hustling more to find that one ideal property. In 2003, I finally plopped 25% down on a $580,000 condo due to determined, aggressive savings habits and that was that.
I strongly encourage people to get motivated instead of get pissed off. Learn from the people who are ahead of you in whatever field you choose to improve. Think about the law of karma and how all these more fortunate people did something great for others to help them get ahead in their lives. Finally, just learn to be thankful with what you have. As soon as you are mindfully thankful, your jealousies and rage will start melting away.
Bank Of Mommy & Daddy Anecdotes That I Know Of
* 10 year old has a $3 million trust fund.
* Parents paid $60,000 a year to go to a private university for four years so their daughter can work in the arts making $25,000 a year.
* Dad bought his 23 year old son a $65,000 car for graduating from a very mediocre school.
* Parents pay $900 a month for tennis lessons for their sophomore in high school son. He has a $2 million trust fund.
* 34 year old has lived for free in a $1.2-$1.5 million dollar condo his parents continue to own for the past 10 years because his parents gave him the place after he spent 6 years in college.
* Classmate received a front-office Goldman Sachs job in WHQ because his father was a Managing Director and 25 year veteran, despite the son going to a mediocre university.
Recommendation To Build Wealth
Manage Your Money In One Place: Sign up for Personal Capital, the web’s #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. In addition to better money oversight, run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool to see exactly how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.
After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms. Definitely run your numbers to see how you’re doing. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.
Updated for 2019 and beyond.