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Old 07-17-2010, 10:08 AM   #21
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Have you tried to buy any stateside honey lately?
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:05 PM   #22
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The problem with wealth is that it creates too many choices. If you can live anywhere in any type of home, how do you decide? How many homes should you have.

Is the best entertainment system really good value?

Is the Rolex better than the Movado?

Is Grey Goose better than Smirnoff (yes)?

Obviously such people have been used to different living than most people here. And studies have shown that they are not happy because they are not sure they are making the right choices since they have so much flexibility.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:23 PM   #23
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Either my wife and I spend it all and enjoy it or else it will go to charities we support if our money lives longer than we do. Seems like we win either way.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 07-17-2010, 03:10 PM   #24
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Many descendants and relatives of Scrooge McDuck here! We might be all related.
Sure are (Quack!)...
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:32 PM   #25
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The problem with wealth is that it creates too many choices. .
Oh the horror! The pain! The agony! Please, may I take some wealthy person's choice-provoked distress upon myself? I gues Mr. Amethyst should be happy he drives a 5-year-old Ford Focus and doesn't face the awful choice, Ferrari vs. Lamborghini

OK, I do apologize for that uncontrollable burst of sarcasm....the idea of poor people being happier than rich ones has always had me rolling on the floor.

Well, if the rich person is dying, while the poor person is bursting with health, I would trade places with the poor one. Or if the rich person has been kidnaped by terrorists...who are forcing him to listen to bubblegum songs 18 hours a day....well, you get the idea.

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Old 07-17-2010, 04:05 PM   #26
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I believe what kcowan said is true, once one's wealth has reached a certain level. Of course, if one has to choose whether to run the AC to a bit lower temperature, or to save the money to make his car payment, one is not yet at that level. But once one's basic necessities have been met, the rewards from money reach the level of diminishing returns quickly. At least it would be for the LBYM type in this forum.

A couple of years ago, there was a book discussing how too many choices for the consumer bewilder him. Basically, he could never be sure that he would make the right choice to buy the optimal product. And that makes his purchasing activity less than a happy one.

I believe in that. So, I do not go shopping unless it is absolutely necessary. And all those iSomethings do not excite me at all. What am I missing?
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:12 PM   #27
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OK, I do apologize for that uncontrollable burst of sarcasm....the idea of poor people being happier than rich ones has always had me rolling on the floor.
To be fair, I don't think the apt comparison is "rich versus poor." I think the comparison is more like "rich and obsessed with acquiring more wealth" versus "not wealthy but I have enough to be comfortable."

Stated that way, I can believe that the latter group can be happier.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:27 PM   #28
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Have you tried to buy any stateside honey lately?

Ha
Well, the only kind I get is the organic variety at the local Growers Market - expensive but it's worth it - very good. I'm sure the brown honey in SW Asia is also excellent but no first hand experience
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:54 PM   #29
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Finally, people are admitting that counting money can be more fun than spending it!

Many descendants and relatives of Scrooge McDuck here! We might be all related.
I'm sitting here in the AC watching The Cowboys (the Duke!). They just showed a State Farm commercial that started out with the comment "Saving money. It's our national pastime." I don't really know what the rest of the commercial was about because I was trying to clean up the diet coke that just shot out of my nose.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #30
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To be fair, I don't think the apt comparison is "rich versus poor." I think the comparison is more like "rich and obsessed with acquiring more wealth" versus "not wealthy but I have enough to be comfortable."

Stated that way, I can believe that the latter group can be happier.
I agree, Ziggy.

Sometimes, though, I get the sense that some people simply disapprove of the purchase of expensive, unneeded things - even if the purchaser pays all his bills on time, has enough saved to retire, and is responsible in every way. This perception could be wrong of course.

We, on the other hand, get a great deal of pleasure out of expensive, unneeded things, even if all we can do is look at them.

We don't buy them (even if we had the money) because our funds are committed to other goals. If we were truly wealthy, it would not bother us one bit if our purchases did not all fall along the efficient frontier. We would acquire whatever we admired, and the heck with optimization.

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Old 07-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #31
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'Frugality gives people the financial resources to be able to stand up for oneself even if it means you get canned.'

Investing gives you that, frugality just stretches it out.

'I believe that if Henry David Thoreau were alive today, he'd be a member of our Forum,'

He suggested NOT saving money in the brick bank or laying up extra for bad times. (I like the book but note his time at Walden pond was more of a sabbatical, as it only lasted two years and he had professional training as a surveyor to go back to though he claimed to live as a day laborer, plus often ate out often while borrowing Emerson's land - exact truth the book is not)

Invest first, automatically living within your means while (hopefully) building future wealth.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:44 PM   #32
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So many money related stories are not much more than 'My spending good, yours bad'

I do have Gucci and Rolex watches though. I think my dad gave about 9 or 10 dollars each for them down in Mexico
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #33
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(I like the book but note his time at Walden pond was more of a sabbatical, as it only lasted two years and he had professional training as a surveyor to go back to though he claimed to live as a day laborer, plus often ate out often while borrowing Emerson's land - exact truth the book is not)
Oh heck! Another beautiful fantasy runs aground in the shoal of truth.

Ha
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:35 PM   #34
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Sometimes, though, I get the sense that some people simply disapprove of the purchase of expensive, unneeded things - even if the purchaser pays all his bills on time, has enough saved to retire, and is responsible in every way. This perception could be wrong of course.

We, on the other hand, get a great deal of pleasure out of expensive, unneeded things, even if all we can do is look at them.

We don't buy them (even if we had the money) because our funds are committed to other goals. If we were truly wealthy, it would not bother us one bit if our purchases did not all fall along the efficient frontier. We would acquire whatever we admired, and the heck with optimization.
Let's take Rolex watches as an example. I do not have a fancy watch. I know that they are beautiful, but I still do not covet them. One may say that because I cannot afford a $100K watch, I will say that I do not care about them, as they are out of reach anyway. Perhaps it's true.

So, I imagine that I would be as rich as Bill Gates, when a $500K watch to me would be just a small change, and I could buy a dozen. Would I then be happy wearing these watches that I could afford? I don't think so. I would buy them, but they would not make me happy. I just don't care about them enough!

It is difficult to argue that the possession of some objects would or should bring someone happiness. Of course, I mean luxurious objects of desire and not day-to-day necessities.

We are all different. If a certain thing can bring one's happiness, and it is affordable, then why not get it? Life's short and we cannot take it with us.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:05 PM   #35
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He suggested NOT saving money in the brick bank or laying up extra for bad times. (I like the book but note his time at Walden pond was more of a sabbatical, as it only lasted two years and he had professional training as a surveyor to go back to though he claimed to live as a day laborer, plus often ate out often while borrowing Emerson's land - exact truth the book is not)
Not to mention he took his laundry home for his mother to do, and his sister would come clean his house for him.

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Oh heck! Another beautiful fantasy runs aground in the shoal of truth.

Ha
It's like the Bible, an incredible book but not to be taken literally.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:37 PM   #36
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The question in life is 'at what point does more of something stop being a help and instead becomes a hinderance'. And that's a personal decision.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:26 PM   #37
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More stuff can quickly become a problem. But more money?

How?

Ha
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:50 AM   #38
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Well, the only kind I get is the organic variety at the local Growers Market - expensive but it's worth it - very good. I'm sure the brown honey in SW Asia is also excellent but no first hand experience
It is sad for me, but I can't attest with first hand experience either. However, I figure honey, whatever the color, is better than all stress, all BS, and no honey.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #39
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That's different from the sense I was picking up from some quarters--that somehow, just liking expensive things is to be frowned upon.

I like nice things. (Not Rolexes, though - I think they are clunky-looking). Fortunately, much of what I really like is in museums and showrooms, where I can look at it for free

A.

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We are all different. If a certain thing can bring one's happiness, and it is affordable, then why not get it? Life's short and we cannot take it with us.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:28 AM   #40
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That's different from the sense I was picking up from some quarters--that somehow, just liking expensive things is to be frowned upon.
I guess I read it a little differently. I read it more as proclaiming that it's okay to be content with not having "expensive things." I think that points to a non-consumerist mindset that can be beneficial from a mental health and stress standpoint. It's easier to roll with the punches of life that way, I think.

Having said that, if you have the means to enjoy "expensive things," there's nothing wrong with that either. It's just that too many people in this position wind up becoming obsessed with the ongoing acquisition of wealth and "stuff," and these are the people who are more likely to see their wealth become a form of self-destruction. Not only do they need to keep w*rking to make it happen in many cases (whereas a more LBYM person with "simple" tastes may have been long since able to retire), but they may keep one eye on the road and one eye on the Joneses along the way.

If one could build wealth and enjoy some of the "finer" things without it becoming an unhealthy obsession, so be it! My personal litmus test for "expensive" discretionary items (roughly defined as several hundred dollars or more) is to consider the pleasure/happiness I'll derive from it compared to the long-term "cost" of it in terms of reduced financial security down the road as a result of its purchase. Sometimes that ends up justifying the purchase and sometimes it doesn't.
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