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Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/yourlife/30547

maybe a little more down to earth than than the other stuff on yahoo finance...
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

I like everything he said, except the following:

Generally speaking, with the exception of a home and a vacation house, if it's eating money and not paying out, you have to question if you really need it.

A vacation house is considered a neccessity? Hopefully he did not mean it, and was simply a "typo"
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Not a bad article.

No one needs three cars (let alone a Bentley!). I guess collecting old vehicles would be a fine thing to do if you have the interest and the income (e.g., Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld); but I agree with Ben that laying the foundation for a secure financial future should take priority.

I readily accept that a primary residence is a basic requirement (recognizing that some people would argue that the pros and cons of renting should be considered, and ownership should not always be the default option). But as Sam says, why is "a vacation house" something to own without considering needs versus wants?

IIRC, Ben Stein has previously confessed that he owns multiple residences. Again, nothing wrong with that if you can afford it, but this seems to be a case of "do as I say, not as I do". I bet looking after all those homes requires considerably more time and money than owning multiple vehicles would.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

I liked this comment the best.

Quote:
Yahoo! Finance User - Monday, April 30, 2007, 10:07PM ET

* Overall: 1/5

superman, wonderwomen, perfect chlidren, malibu home, vacation condo. ugh!!!
Ben Stein is an idiot. Comparing a Handyman to an MIT guy with a vacation home is about par for Ben Stein.

Financial Security for the middle class is hardly simple!
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I liked this comment the best.

Ben Stein is an idiot. Comparing a Handyman to an MIT guy with a vacation home is about par for Ben Stein.

Financial Security for the middle class is hardly simple!
If he is an idiot, then what does that make kiyosaki

80-90% of Ben Stein's advice is right on. I don't agree with the vacation home either and he does push annuities too much, but the core of his advice is always LBYM + buy and hold + diversify.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:30 PM   #6
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
I like everything he said, except the following:

Generally speaking, with the exception of a home and a vacation house, if it's eating money and not paying out, you have to question if you really need it.

A vacation house is considered a neccessity? Hopefully he did not mean it, and was simply a "typo"
In all fairness, you took that out of context: is was talking about the couple who was well off,
ie for them maybe the vacation home is a "need" and they obviously can afford it.
He probably feels the vacation is home is a decent investment and I'm sure he wouldn't
call a vacation home a need for the handyman.

And Ben Stein is not an idiot, you may not agree with him, but that doesn't make him an
idiot.
TJ
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:49 PM   #7
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

I was going to post the same thing as Sam. Those four words, "and a vacation home," mess up the rest of the article.

What if his Handyman friend had bought a vacation home instead of a Bentley:

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite human beings, a handyman in Malibu, was fixing a balky kitchen cabinet door in my house when he told me excitedly about his new house. "It's a vacation home," he said. "I've always wanted a vacation home. It's about 20 years old and needs some work, so I got it pretty cheap. I got it online at eBay."

"Great," I said. "Did you sell your current home?"

"No," he said "This is my second house."

My heart sank. This fellow is a great handyman. He's a great guy in general. But he has no regular income of any size, works freelance, has either no savings or almost no savings, and isn't young.

Buying that house is placing himself into a form of peonage. He's made himself drastically more susceptible to downward mobility by having an extra monthly bill to pay for repair and upkeep costs, and he's deprived himself of money he could have saved. In a word, he's harmed himself.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I liked this comment the best.

Ben Stein is an idiot. Comparing a Handyman to an MIT guy with a vacation home is about par for Ben Stein.

Financial Security for the middle class is hardly simple!
Wasn't that the point? The handyman had the Bentley and the MIT guy lived simply, I disagree that financial security is not simple, it is not EASY, but it is simple.........
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:57 PM   #9
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I was going to post the same thing as Sam. Those four words, "and a vacation home," mess up the rest of the article.

What if his Handyman friend had bought a vacation home instead of a Bentley:

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite human beings, a handyman in Malibu, was fixing a balky kitchen cabinet door in my house when he told me excitedly about his new house. "It's a vacation home," he said. "I've always wanted a vacation home. It's about 20 years old and needs some work, so I got it pretty cheap. I got it online at eBay."

"Great," I said. "Did you sell your current home?"

"No," he said "This is my second house."

My heart sank. This fellow is a great handyman. He's a great guy in general. But he has no regular income of any size, works freelance, has either no savings or almost no savings, and isn't young.

Buying that house is placing himself into a form of peonage. He's made himself drastically more susceptible to downward mobility by having an extra monthly bill to pay for repair and upkeep costs, and he's deprived himself of money he could have saved. In a word, he's harmed himself.
Well said T-AL!

And this is why Ben Stein is an idiot!
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by teejayevans
In all fairness, you took that out of context: is was talking about the couple who was well off,
ie for them maybe the vacation home is a "need" and they obviously can afford it.

...

And Ben Stein is not an idiot, you may not agree with him, but that doesn't make him an
idiot.
TJ
I don't think I took it out of context. But that's ok, we all look at things differently.

For the record, I never said Ben Stein is an idiot. In fact I like his writings a lot. My other favorite is Scott Burns.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:01 PM   #11
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I was going to post the same thing as Sam. Those four words, "and a vacation home," mess up the rest of the article.

What if his Handyman friend had bought a vacation home instead of a Bentley:
In the article Ben did admit that he buys too many homes.
Quote:
Gene and DeeDee's example weighed on me heavily, because in my own life and in the lives of those around me there's so much complexity: too many cars, too many houses (my main curse), too much of an image to have to show off, too much keeping up with the Joneses.

And like it or not Real Estate is an investment
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:18 PM   #12
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
A vacation house is considered a necessity? Hopefully he did not mean it, and was simply a "typo"
I did not get that he was indicating it was a necessity, just that he believes it is not a stupid thing to purchase. I assume that he is referring to the fact that of the toys modern society collects, a vacation home is one of the few that is not a declining asset.

Of course, you know what happens when you assume
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

The bulk of his financial advice seems fairly sound, which is all I ask for in a money columnist. Frankly, it's our money, and our responsibility to investigate the pros and cons of our money decisions. Anybody who unquestioningly takes any money writer's opinions as gospel deserves what they'll get.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:23 PM   #14
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
What if his Handyman friend had bought a vacation home instead of a Bentley
I am missing something here? Obviously, any investment can be screwed up, and all investments are bad if you can't afford them. However, a vacation home is one of the few luxuries in life than can make sense, particularly if you purchase it in the right place at the right time. Are you saying that a vacation home is always a poor investment?

I think his point is that a vacation home can be an investment (in general), but a car is not (in general).
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:27 PM   #15
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Ben has some impressive credentials. Hardly an idiot :
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:35 PM   #16
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

I think Ben's point is to keep it simple, don't own a lot of stuff - or at some point your stuff will own you - Sort of like one of those B Horror movies.

But then I read between the lines a lot.

heh heh heh :
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:45 PM   #17
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

I took the comment about a vacation home to be a self-depricating comment about his owning too many homes. I think that is his way of making you think.

For another Yahoo Expert who is not Ben Stein, see the Kiyosaki thread.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 01:49 PM   #18
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by teejayevans
Ben Stein is not an idiot, you may not agree with him, but that doesn't make him an
idiot.
Well said, TJ.

Such ad hominem attacks comments are unhelpful. Criticize the article, not the author.
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 02:00 PM   #19
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton
Criticize the article, not the author.
Are we allowed to criticize Kiyosaki?

Ha
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...
Old 05-01-2007, 02:07 PM   #20
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Re: Keeping it Simple...Ben Stein...

Kiyosaki is fair game. Take your best shot


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