Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
“Life isn’t fair” – Your mom probably told you this a lot when you were growing up. And to this day it still doesn’t make a lot of sense to most of us. Why is it some people get it all? A stellar hand, great health, good looks, money, etc. While other people, those that are really nice get a bad hand and bad cards after the original deal.
Whatever the reason, the sooner you realize that life isn’t fair, the sooner you start to realize that you may need to work a little harder for something that the other guy just got handed to him. You just accept it for what it is and move on. Sitting around complaining and whining isn’t going to help.
I won the lottery the day I emerged from the womb by being in the United States — Warren Buffett
Pretty soon you start to realize that the other common saying: “It’s not what you know, its who you know” is just as true, and has a lot to do with why life isn’t fair. This can be extended to include what Mr. Warren Buffett calls the “Ovarian Lottery”. Being born in the right womb can play a huge factor in your chances for success. Being born in the right womb gives you access to different people and different opportunities. It doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly can give you a big boost as long as you don’t blow it. Look at President Kennedy.
But most of us in the United States were probably born to an average working family, in an average neighborhood, and had a pretty good childhood. For those of you who didn’t, that’s just another card in the deck that was stacked against you. But what matters more is where you go from where you came. There are countless examples of people who overcame incredible circumstances to be where they are today.
A guy I know in my community was 13 years old when his father came home in a drunken rage and shot his mother and then killed himself. This man grew up, got an education, married a great lady, got a great job and raised several children. He provides all kinds of service to his community and is a tremendous person. Someone we would all consider an astounding success, regardless of his background.
And that’s just it: The sooner you accept that the cards are stacked against you, the sooner you can start to make some serious cash.
“October: This is one of the particularly dangerous months to invest in stocks. Other dangerous months are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” — Mark Twain
Let’s start with investing in the stock market. Its totally rigged against you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money
The recent Twitter IPO is a great place to look. The IPO was set for $26, but by the time the average person could start buying shares last Thursday, it had already hit $42. So if you were able to get ahold of $26 shares, you’d have almost doubled your money by the end of the day. No doubt somebody, who knew somebody, who wasn’t fair, was able to get that deal. You probably weren’t that guy. I wasn’t either and didn’t buy any of it.
I also know many people who have bought money in the stock market and then lost it. They would buy a “hot stock tip” and then the value would drop 30-40% and they’d sell. This happened to a friend of mine. We both bought Facebook the day of the IPO. $48. He sold when the stock got down to around $16 losing almost all of the initial investment. I held on. Today we’re around the same price it was when it IPOd so I could sell and still make money.
So how can you make money on stocks if it is rigged against you? Really, just education. You have to realize that you may make mistakes and really screw up. Consider that tuition. My biggest mistake came in 2007 when Blackstone filed for an IPO. I put nearly $2,000 into the company, only to walk away a year later with only $400. Granted the company was acting illegally and recently settled out of court (netting me only $250 more in compensation, but still half of what I initially invested). The thing was, I didn’t know the company like I thought I did. I really didn’t know anything about what it did, but I thought I did. But I consider that $1,500 cost as tuition for a class on trading stocks, complete with hands-on experience.
Today, I like to think I’m wiser. I invest in companies when its cheap to buy. I would probably not buy any of the companies I own right now unless the stock price decreased tremendously. Everything is so overpriced right now.
Try to have the mentality of a quarterback who just threw an interception. You just go back out there throwing for the end zone. Visa IPOd not long after I lost big on Blackstone and I bought a ton of that company. And I knew it was going to be a success. A great brand, a great business. Its been my best horse to date. But alas now, its extremely expensive.
“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” — Warren Buffett
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain
The other way to make money is to not buy at high prices. The Dow and S&P 500 are near all time highs, you probably shouldn’t buy, unless you know something about a particular company. Just last week I transferred a huge chunk of my stocks in my 401k to bonds, fearful of the irrational highs. People are still struggling, I don’t see too much in the economy to make me think all is roses. My own company is still cutting back on labor and clamping down on expenses. So why should the stocks continue to go higher?
Let’s talk about getting a job. Companies exist to make money. If you can’t help them make money, they don’t need you. If they hire you, then that’s less money they can give to everybody else. It’s like the difference if I take one kid with me to the movies or all four. If I just take one, then my $5 for snacks goes farther. If all 4 of them go, then it doesn’t make too many of them happy.
You need to provide someway to show them how you can help them make money. Otherwise, they aren’t going to hire you. To do that, education is what you need, or rare skills. Skills that are rare, usually take the same amount to get as does education. So get good at something so the system needs you, then you can blow the system off and start your own thing.
Many of these places exist to get money from you. The irony is that by promising you a future, most of these schools end up taking your future, in the form of debt from student loans. Don’t be a victim. Have a really good game plan before you sign up for a loan. Understand that the employment rates after graduation are not what they were back in the 80s or 90s. You can really get taken advantage of.
These are just a few quick thoughts about the subject. The point is, distrust most of the institutions that have been around before you were born. They want to continue living and your interests are not in their interest. The system is rigged against you. Understand that, and fight back. Think and get educated.