Diamonds and Dogs #23

Jul 7, 2014 by

In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to contrast with the three Diamonds, I pick one lame item—the Dog.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

  • Dr. Jason Cabler over at Enemy of Debt produced a gem I thought with his “Why You Should Never Use a Home Equity Loan to Pay Off Debt“. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Jason had been sitting in on one of the hundreds of credit counseling sessions I conducted in a former life, except Dr. Cabler is clearer than I ever was! Jason’s post is must reading for anyone contemplating “solving” their debt problem by taking out a new loan.
  • J. Money at the ever popular blog Budgets Are Sexy has a wonderful knack for simplifying our money challenges. His “How to Save Money” is a perfect example. Click on over to understand why the “How to” is lined out.
  • Novel Investor took on the timeless topic of investing vs. paying off debt in his “Pay Off Debt Or Invest: What’s The ROI?” I think the advice Jon offers to think of paying debt as in investment, in competition for your surplus cash with all the other opportunities we more routinely think of as investments, is absolutely right on. If you take Jon’s advice you’ll both pay off your debts sooner and maximize your investing returns.

lame money adviceA Dog

I watch PBS’ Nightly Business Report occasionally, even though it’s now produced by Wall Street shill CNBC. A segment on June 23 sought to further hype stock investing by capitalizing on the self-serving hoopla now emanating from Wall Street driven by the Dow Industrial Average’s meaningless approach to 17,000. A statement in the segment by Kristine Hooper of Allianz* Global Investors typifies perhaps my primary pet peeve about Wall Street. The entire clip below runs less than three minutes, but if you want to zoom directly to Kristine’s very short statement, it begins at about the 2:25 mark.

Ms. Hooper parrots the ubiquitous Wall Street mantra, saying investors “need to stay committed to stocks if they’re going to meet their long-term goals.” And she prefaces this by challenging investors’ “intestinal fortitude.” In other words, you’re a damn wimp if you don’t turn over your savings to Wall Street.

Ms. Hooper’s assertion has become so commonplace—thanks to massive Wall Street marketing machine spending—that it’s become virtually conventional wisdom, challenged by no one. Except me, that is.

What is the evidence that we must “stay committed to stocks” to meet our long-term goals?

Has no middle class person ever met their long-term goals while not buying stocks?

I’m certain more people meet their long-term goals investing in their own small business than do so investing in stocks, to make just one point of many possible that would illuminate Ms. Hooper’s comment for what it is: marketing bullshit.

How have Wall Streeters gotten away with routinizing such claims, based on nothing?

I can’t blame Ms. Hooper alone. She’s merely doling out a shot of the Kool-Aid that Wall Street marketers have diligently and effectively trained us all to slurp, as she’s very well paid to do.

For further reading on this and related topics, please see “Investor Sheep to Slaughter Again“, “Killer Fund Fees“, “Financial Advisor or Huckster?“, “Roller Coasters and Retirement“, “Why I’m Wary of Stocks”, “Retire Stockless? Blasphemy!“, and “Must I Own Stocks?

Nominations Please

Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “Diamonds and Dogs” post.


* Interesting historical side note: German multinational financial services company Allianz, as an organization and through its corporate officers, voluntarily partnered with the Nazi Regime and the Third Reich, starting as early as the early 1930s and continuing all the way through to the collapse of the Third Reich.

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