Now shifting from CampFI SW in my last post, I noticed a post that I started in January 2020 after CampFI SE. It’s a must share for an opposite perspective.
From 2020-01: I decided after CampFU (that was a typo, but actually kind of applicable) to drive across the Florida panhandle and explore the gulf coast, then head up into Alabama just for fun, just because I could. I hopped in my rental RAV4—which was awesome because I’ve considered buying a Rav4 when I need a new car. I mapped out the places to visit, and hotels deals along the way. It turns out you can get some nice beach-view resort rooms at excellent prices with last-minute bookings, even in January.
There I was, in the lobby checking out of my (basic) motel in Tallahassee when I spoke to a stranger—which is rare for me. After days of hearing about JL Collins The Simple Path to Wealth, I wanted to title this post “the simple path to nowhere.” Another guest was checking out, and he said loud enough so those around him could hear his brilliance “OK, makin me some money on Tesla.”
I asked him “oh, you’re invested in Tesla, that’s cool, what brokerage do you use?” I know it was a somewhat leading question, but I wanted to dig into his boastful arrogance in a little more detail to understand his vocal prosperity. He mentioned something about some “stock app” on his phone. I said, “I’ve never heard of that, how does it work?” Mr. Investor proceeds to show me how he’s up FOURTEEN CENTS and he “now has $2.04 in Tesla and $1.79 in apple.” [I swear this is 100% true, I put the note in my phone immediately so I wouldn’t forget]
OK, I understand there is a stock-picking game used in schools all over the country (universities included) and the game is (in my opinion) detrimental to investing, especially long-term “investing,” but this app seemed like a game for sure. It was the arrogance he shared out loud that bothered me. Ironically, I am finally posting this considering how Carl just shared his “Tesla investing story” recently.
So, I have many thoughts about this motel lobby interaction 1) arrogantly boasting is unbecoming and may be asinine 2) stock games on a smartphone may be idiotic 3) I was staying in a lower-end motel, lower than I needed to 4)…
#4) I was so disappointed that I didn’t have a $5 bill to double his money. This is what I think is funny now 18+ months later, if he held on to his $2.04 of Tesla stock from Jan 2020, he actually would have shown me who’s boss. It turns out, as of now Nov 2021 his Tesla “investment” would be worth $21.00+.
I’m not condescending of those struggling, or those saving small amounts to get started or give their life some buffer. That is very hard for so many people. There is even US tax code to support these savers-credits. I believe in the power of positive actions—to try and improve a little at a time, day after day, week after week—hoping those actions make life better. It’s the braggadocio nature of his obnoxious actions.
As for the opposite of my interaction, I love those who have shared the concept of stealth wealth. I love the work of Dr. Thomas Stanley and his daughter, Sarah Stanley Fallaw. These are just some of the many people who help make us all better. I’m also pretty sure that they often do not speak in loud voices in public situations.
Help those you can, with whatever you can.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.