Money really does make the world go around. The vast sums of money and things bought with money flowing into IndoChina in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami has altered the rotation of the Earth, changed its shape and moved the North Pole. Meanwhile, who really cares how many Africans are dying? We need to rebuild those beach-side resorts pronto.
Certainly, nobody would've much cared about the tsunami if it hadn't turned into a world-wide PBS pledge drive. Charity is the new Lexus in the driveway, where international neighbours are concerned. The Japs promised 500 million dollars? We'll show those slant-eyed child rapists what generosity really looks like.
It would be interesting to know, a year or so from now, what percentage of the pledges actually are made good, and how it compares with a standard Red Dwarf or Black Adder marathon. But of course we won't ever hear, because the media has already returned to its usual diet of unconfirmed terrorism threats, train crashes and talking about the weather. And as usual, Canada is a day late and a death short. But at least we know how to throw a good blizzard.
But back to the point. Most people are idiots. A good number are even willing to admit it, if not revel in it. Think how stupid the average person is; half are even dumber than that.
It's no wonder, then, that people are ignorant about money. Why should finance be any different than computers, cooking, or basic reading comprehension?
The ones that are just stupid rack up huge credit card debts and hope playing the lottery counts as a retirement plan. The ones who are stupid but willing to admit it invest in mutual funds. After all, if you don't know what to do with your money, get someone who does. Right?
The thing about mutual funds is that it's a scam. The people telling you to invest in them aren't doing it because it's necessarily right for you, they're doing it because their job is to sell you something, the same as the guy pushing plasma TVs or used cars or asking if you want fries.
As a general rule, if you've seen an ad for a mutual fund company on TV, don't invest in their funds—that ad time doesn't come cheap. Or, alternatively, buy shares in the company rather than their funds, because it will give you a better return.
At this point I could start talking about liquidity, diversifying your asset mix and leveraged investing, but instead I'll just say this: buy a house. You know you want one, and interest rates are really low right now.
Conversely if you own a house, sell it. With the low interest rates a lot of people are scraping together a down payment and driving the market up. Rent for a year or two till the market cools, or in the event of a severe rate hike, crashes, then move in when the people who couldn't really afford to buy in the first place are forced to sell. And in the meantime, invest whatever money you made off your house in mutual fund companies. You'll be glad you did.
I've decided to put the more mundane, businessy aspects of the comic at the end of the newspost from now on, so that it doesn't mess up the RSS Feed. Did I mention the RSS Feed? RSS Feed.
Those of you who want to help promote the comic but are too lazy or intoxicated to actually tell people about it can go to the Affiliates page and click on the BCX Ranking link. Each click will make the number go down, which is what we want. It's practically an MMORPG.