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Old 12-11-2013, 07:21 PM   #41
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The message is somewhat like the early Christian message, be good and behave and think good thoughts and don't have too much fun and you shall find your reward in ER.
I didn't really get any of that message from the book at all, but of course you are free to think what you want. I think the message is that the people who are really balance sheet affluent are often the people you least suspect, people in dull normal businesses, precisely because they save their money and have their money make money, instead of spending it on conspicuous consumption goods. I don't think that is too different than how a lot of people who post here live and were able to reach FI earlier in life than most.

The original TMND was written by two university professors with experience in marketing and surveys. That would be a pretty big story if all the data, charts and surveys in the book and successor books were all just made up numbers.

I didn't see anything about not having too much fun, just that fun doesn't have to cost a lot, like museum visits or attending kids sports games, or if it does cost a lot it should be a tax deductible business expense, like a business trip to Paris.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:23 PM   #42
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I don't know enough to accurately comment, but to me at least., sometimes the stereotypes that we hold dear can get kind of cloying. And also very likely misleading, since they shortcut thought. We have phrases that seem to jump out of our computers-similar to the health writers artery-clogging-saturated fats. The wealthy barber is certainly one. For example, though doctors in private practice face pressures that many lower profile occupations do not, my confident guess is that there are more wealthy doctors than barbers. The wealthy barber, along with the scrap dealer with a good heart are just comforting narratives for frugal people. Sometimes accurate (particularly the rich scrap dealer), but not often enough to want to make book on it. Like the quote attributed to Damon Runyon, "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the way to play it."

In particular, the millionaire but sweet scrap dealer would only be remarkable if it were deemed to be unusual, perhaps like "the ravishing librarian".



Ha
Now you've done it!! The librarians of the world will join forces and make your life a living hell! I hope for your sake you don"t have any overdue books.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:17 AM   #43
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... much balance sheet affluence on the part of mundane businesses comes from the fact that the owners need that investment to operate their business, and also from the frequent fact that the entire family is pressed into service. Likely not a bad idea at all, but a hard sell to non-immigrant Americans today. An anesthesiologist for example basically needs a stethoscope and a couple of nice suits to be in business, in contrast to the dedicated balance sheet of some of these other operations Plus his hands stay clean...
Most people would rather be a millionaire doctor than a millionaire scrap metal dealer. However, many doctors also forget that their human capital is susceptible to accidental losses and also not transferable. They can certainly buy insurance for that risk, and I wonder how much that would cost.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #44
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Most people would rather be a millionaire doctor than a millionaire scrap metal dealer.
I wouldn't sell the scrap dealers short. No degree required, a possible early start on the career (more earning years), no tuition debt or expense, no responsibility for human lives, no keeping up with the Joneses factor from the other scrap dealers, no malpractice insurance required, scalability and a job that can potentially operate without their on site presence every day.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #45
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No, not selling anybody short. People can make money in many different ways, and that takes different temperaments and mindsets.

Like many other businesses, to be a scrap dealer requires a certain entrepreneurial mind and also skills which many booksmart people lack. And if you ask a youngster if he knows the steps to become a scrap dealer, you would draw a blank. I myself would not know where to start.
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Scrap Metal Business-Get it While It's Hot!
Old 12-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #46
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Scrap Metal Business-Get it While It's Hot!

Scrap Metal Dealers For Sale | Buy a Scrap Metal Dealer For Sale at MergerNetwork.com

To forestall difficulties about nakedness, be advised that the above link will take you to listings of scrap dealers for sale.

I might add that there are much lower capital requirements for certain business niches. For example, there is a homeless guy who passes my building every so often with a couple sacks full of aluminum cans. He often checks our recycling bin to see if he can top up his other findings with what might be there.

Also, I have personal experience in this business. During and just after WW2 when the economy was short of everything, my mother told me whatever I could haul home we would drive to a scrap dealer about 4 miles away. I had my trusty red wagon, and I brought back good quantities of newspaper most days I went out. Prices were high, and we took ourselves to some movies and stopped for some malted milks, compliments of this business. I steered clear of metal, for various reasons, not the least of which that the lacerations from messing with it were painful.

I had other boyhood businesses, many of which inform my attitudes toward much of this today. I operated a fruit and vegetable stand at my GP's farm, and when I came home my mom would haul some produce back and again using my trusty red wagon I took it around and sold it. The proceeds were mine, and I enjoyed this part. What I found less pleasant was the surprising number of housewives who set out to beat me on price. A good lesson perhaps, but not a pleasant one.

Ha
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #47
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I dunno. I don't think the purchase of a scrap metal business comes with a user operating manual, which somebody like myself would need. It looks as tough to me as going to school for an MD degree.

Wait a minute! Why are we talking about this? Aren't we all retirees that are done with our career and just coasting down? Or is this talk spurred from the market action the last few days?
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:47 AM   #48
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I dunno. I don't think the purchase of a scrap metal business comes with a user operating manual, which somebody like myself would need. It looks as tough to me as going to school for an MD degree.

Wait a minute! Why are we talking about this? Aren't we all retirees that are done with our career and just coasting down? Or is this talk spurred from the market action the last few days?
None of the above. Sheer fantasy, like moving to Tierra del Fuego, which is reported to have an amazingly low COL.

My kids rightly did what they wanted to, not some goofball idea that I might have had. But in the spirit of imagining new beginnings, for pure safety and a good living that even if you live very well day to day will give you a comfortable early out, go Federal young person!

How about a bright typical bookish but not particularly original or creative kid trying this plan. Find a state school with a good law school, and reasonable prices and contrive to establish residency. If you graduate high in your class, head to some DC regulatory arm, or even Justice. If you are hot, enjoy the old revolving door and you may wind up very wealthy. If this is not your bag, grind away in DC and enjoy the abundant social life for young people there.

If you don't make the DC grade, there are 50 states and Puerto Rico. All these states have capitols full of lawyers.

I once had a friend who was so nervous during law school that she vomited regularly. Still, she found a very nice well paying low key job working for some utility commission doing rate hearings and is snug as a bug in a rug there.

And let us remember, these white collar jobs position us for the kind of social life that suburban high schools and most colleges lead us to expect. Why stop partying at high school graduation? Plus they are physically clean, warm in winter and cool in summer, and we often get a nice grey government car.

Ha
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:16 PM   #49
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None of the above. Sheer fantasy, like moving to Tierra del Fuego, which is reported to have an amazingly low COL.
...
How about a bright typical bookish but not particularly original or creative kid trying this plan. Find a state school with a good law school, and reasonable prices and contrive to establish residency. If you graduate high in your class, head to some DC regulatory arm, or even Justice. If you are hot, enjoy the old revolving door and you may wind up very wealthy. If this is not your bag, grind away in DC and enjoy the abundant social life for young people there...
Just joking about any of us pursuing another career this late in our life.

About becoming a lawyer, my daughter was thinking about it after getting her BS degree in accounting. The law school professor at the state university talked her out of it. Said only graduates from the top schools could get anywhere, and many lawyers did not make that much. So, she took her graduate studies in another program, and just had a promotion to a management position along with a nice raise. I never ask my children what they make, but she volunteered that she is making as much as my son's engineering job now. They are both doing OK, though not making as much as either MDs nor scrap metal dealers.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #50
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Just joking about any of us pursuing another career this late in our life.

About becoming a lawyer, my daughter was thinking about it after getting her BS degree in accounting. The law school professor at the state university talked her out of it. Said only graduates from the top schools could get anywhere, and many lawyers did not make that much. So, she took her graduate studies in another program, and just had a promotion to a management position along with a nice raise. I never ask my children what they make, but she volunteered that she is making as much as my son's engineering job now. They are both doing OK, though not making as much as either MDs nor scrap metal dealers.
I always thought being an ambulance chaser might be fun. But like my dog, sniffing and peeing on the tires is about all I would be qualified to do.

One of my old golfing buddies is a lawyer. Mainly handles real estate transactions, collections, simple wills, etc. I never got the impression he made a lot of money. He's a solo act, doesn't even have a secretary. Goes in the office on Sunday afternoons to do his billing. Drives a 15 year old car his Dad left him. Says he will will have to work for many years to come. Kind of sad because I know he's a smart guy. But I know another lawyer who made a killing on a couple of cases. And he retired in his early 50's.

So like many fields, there can be a wide range of income in the legal profession.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #51
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I wouldn't sell the scrap dealers short. No degree required, a possible early start on the career (more earning years), no tuition debt or expense, no responsibility for human lives, no keeping up with the Joneses factor from the other scrap dealers, no malpractice insurance required, scalability and a job that can potentially operate without their on site presence every day.
Back in the day one of my many assignments while I was employed by Megacorp was to administer the sale of high value scrap (aluminum, copper, gold, silver, platinum, etc.) generated by Megacorp operations. This was done by advertised competitive bids. The buyers were an international group, mainly from the Far East, as well as some USA bidders. Some of the bidders represented megacorps, some were individuals, and some were rather secretive. They all had to have letters of credit. They would gather at the appointed time and appeared to have a fine time at the vendor viewings. They often knew each other.

This was a colorful group, mostly salesman types. I really enjoyed meeting and talking to them (sometimes through interpreters).

Thanks for the memories!
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