A Message To 2015 Graduates

A Message To 2015 Graduates

graduates

“We’re not wearing anything under these robes.”

Oh hey, new graduate.

Congratulations on finally getting yo’ ass a diploma. I know it’s probably attached with an assload of student loan debt, but hey. At least you finished. Imagine being that guy who has a bunch of debt and works at Starbucks who doesn’t even have his degree. At least you have bragging rights.

You might not remember, but delivering these messages is kind of a tradition around here. I did one in 2013, which urged you all to pay off your debt at all costs. I followed it up last year with another one, which said that y’all should work smart and take alternate paths. I’m sure they were all forwarded to dozens and dozens of grads, where they were promptly ignored because if there’s a group of people who think they know it all, it’s 22-year old college grads.

So let’s keep the party going. After the last four years of being circle jerked in your little protective bubble, frankly, you all could use a little cold water splashed on you.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first. You know how all your teachers and guidance counsellors and your mommy and daddy told you that all you needed was your degree and you’re all set? Yeah, that’s not true. Sure, having that degree helps, but at this point all it really shows employers is that you’re capable of making it through school.

Your first job will suck, which is exactly what should happen. Brenda from accounting will be a major c word, and you will totally get passed up for promotions that you deserve. The office hot chick/funny guy will get perks like you cannot believe, while Bill Lundbergh shows up at your desk four times per day bitching about TPS reports.

Oh, you’re going to avoid all that? By going to work for a start-up? Don’t make me scoff. There are a million startups out there that think they’re reinventing the wheel who have found some venture capital guy with more enthusiasm than brains and a bunch of investor cash. It’s all a giant bubble and it’s all going to end badly.

At least none of you think you’re the next Zuckerberg, right? Oh God. Look, don’t even think about it. Somebody who has never held down a full-time job has no business starting their own company right out of college. You’ve already raised money? Just give it to me, and we’ll light it on fire together.

Look, I know you’re full of piss and vinegar and probably some recreational drugs, but the real world doesn’t work like that. If you want to show the world you can build a better do-dad, go and learn the ropes while somebody is paying you. Become a really good employee before you even think about going out on your own. Get a promotion or two under your belt first, and then we’ll talk.

I know that you want to change the world, or start doing really cool things. And hey, maybe you’ll get around to it. But graduate, you gotta stop being so damn impatient. The world is a really difficult place, and chances are you’re lazy. Besides, I’m pretty sure most super achievers didn’t get a B in intermediate statistics. Oh, sorry, a B+.

At a minimum, your first decade in the workforce should be spent trying to learn the ropes. I’ll be 32 in about six weeks, and let me tell you from experience that most 22-year olds don’t know a damn thing. And if you’re 18, I suggest shutting your mouth for a few years and just listening to the grown-ups.

Sure, Bill Gates accomplished a lot during his 20s. So did Elon Musk and that Zuckerberg guy. Fine, I’ll give you those. But there’s no way you can compare yourself to them. Let’s temper expectations a little. They’ve already gotten four hours worth of work done, while you’re procrastinating by reading this blog post. And by setting your expectations too high, you’re all but ensuring a lifetime of disappointment and failure.

For the next five years, here’s what I want you to do.

One, put your head down and work. You’re young and have the energy. If work doesn’t give you the chance to exchange extra hours for extra money, start a side hustle. Instead of the side hustle aiming for the stars, do something practical. Don’t try to invent the next Snapchat. Do ref sports, or something else from this list.

Secondly, learn everything you can about the world around you. Sacrifice time you’d normally spend with your bros and crack open a book or ten. Your bros are probably dumb anyway.

And finally, I want you to embrace the ordinary. Accept the fact that you’re not gonna change the world. Accept the fact that you’re mostly average. Accept the fact that, like most people, you’re going to value time with your family more than you do work.

By tempering expectations, you’ll create a life where you celebrate accomplishments instead of getting down on yourself because things haven’t happened as quickly as you’d like. But most importantly, you’ll create the temperament to just keep chugging along.

Warren Buffett made 99% of his wealth after his 50th birthday. So did Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, and millions of other successful people. Do you think they lamented how they were 29 and still hadn’t accomplished all their dreams? Do you think they had a “quarter life crisis”? Hell no. They were out working. They were doing the little things that get no credit.

You have to be incredibly lucky to change the world. But to get rich, have a great career, or do some cool stuff, there’s not a lot of luck involved. You just have to do the right things every day, and repeat them for decades. Most people just can’t pull that off, which is why they’ll only be mediocre for the rest of their lives. Conquer this impatience and realize things take time and an assload of work. Once you figure that out, the sky truly is the limit.

Monday Morning Dump: McDonalds and The Law of Large Numbers

Monday Morning Dump: McDonalds and The Law of Large Numbers

How many times have you heard something like this?

“Here’s how you become a successful investor. You buy a company like McDonalds NO MATTER WHAT THE PRICE, and you hold it for 50 years. I guarantee you’ll be rich. Just look at the last 50 years.”

Not only are these people falling victim to hindsight bias, they’re also guilty in assuming the next 50 years for McDonalds (or Coca-Cola, or Philip Morris, or AT&T) are going to be just as great as the last 50. The stock is going to be able to return 12% per year and outperform the market simply because it has a history of doing so.

But when you actually crunch the numbers, you’ll realize how ridiculous it is to blindly invest in a company like McDonalds for the next 50 years.

In 1965, McDonalds became a publicly traded corporation. Say you invested in the stock in 1980, which is 35 years ago. On just share appreciation alone, you would have made about 13.7% annually. Let’s go with that as a return, because it gets our point across nicely.

In 1980, McDonalds opened up its 6,000th restaurant in Munich, probably close to where Hitler used to hang out. These days, there are approximately 35,000 restaurants around the world. That’s a growth rate of 5.2% per year for the stock to grow 13.7% per year. If we assume the same overall growth to new restaurants ratio, McDonalds will have to increase its store count by 3.8% annually to grow the stock price 10% annually.

If McDonalds could do that, it would have nearly 130,000 restaurants around the globe by 2050. I know there are plenty of places around the world the chain has barely cracked, but another 100,000 restaurants? For reals? The world is supposed to have more people, but only about 50% more than we have now.

Where’s the growth supposed to come from? It’s not like the 1960s and 70s when McDonalds practically grew unopposed. We probably eat out more than we did back then, but there are hundreds of new chains that have opened, most of which are better than what my buddy Tony calls McDumpsters.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned being an investor, it’s that the leader isn’t always the leader. It can and will get replaced, especially as the market around it changes. It’s obvious the strategy of buying and holding McDonalds forever isn’t going to work as well for the next 35 years as it did for the previous 35.

Song I like and therefore you should too

German heavy metal? Sure, let’s go with that.

Fun fact: if you listen to more than 20 hours of Rammstein, there is a 100% chance you will turn into the next Hitler.

The Office quote

Dwight: I can’t believe you came.

Michael: That’s what she said.

What you might have missed

I think Friday’s post was good for a few chuckles, but chances are you didn’t miss that one. Unless you were slacking like some sort of LAZY MEXICAN. Stereotypes are fun!

Are you one of those bastards with a gold-plated pension? Not only do the rest of us who actually have to save for retirement hate your guts, but it turns out your pension might not be as good as you might think. Is that disturbing enough for you?

Nelson’s so funny

I have changed my Twitter avatar to Stephen Harper kicking the air while the mascot of Quebec’s winter festival looks on. It is the greatest picture I have ever seen.

I’m like the clap. You’ll never get rid of me.

The more you know

This is the only part of the blog which is even remotely educational. I assume you’re all here for the scantily clad ladies, right? If you are, you’ve already scrolled past this without reading it.

Robert Anderson Cooke (1880–1960) was an American immunologist and allergist.

In 1916 Cooke and Albert Vandeveer demonstrated the role of heredity in the origins of allergy. According to Cooke, 48% of his allergic patients had allergies in theirfamily history. While the trait of allergy is transmitted through heredity, parents and children may be allergic to different substances.

In 1918, Dr. Cooke suggested a mechanism of action for allergen injections as a “desensitization or hyposensitization,” analogous to tolerance achieved in experimentalanaphylaxis induced in animals. This concept suggested that the injections of an increasing amount of allergen or antigen slowly neutralized those antibodies responsible for the allergic reaction.

This seems obvious now, but in 1918 that was some breakthrough crap. My new lifelong goal is to come up with something really awesome that won’t seen very impressive at all when I brag about it to my grandkids.

Kevin O’Leary’s stock pick

kevin-olearyEach week current BNN personality and Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary is kind enough to give us his favorite stock pick. 

 My stock pick this week is IBM, because it pays a dividend and trades at a low P/E, and I just look at those two things and declare myself a value investor.

I’m sure you all heard the news about both David Chilton and Arlene Dickenson leaving Dragon’s Den shortly after your’s truly did the same thing. What a bunch of copycats, just doing that thing I did first. I hope the next woman they put on the show isn’t as whiny as Arlene was. I made her cry 14 times one year. Jim Treliving even gave me a trophy to commemorate the occasion. The trophy was pizza.

After CBC execs called me and BEGGED me to go back on the show, I agreed to meet with Hubert T. Lacroix to discuss my demands. After some B.S. about how the show couldn’t afford my very reasonable salary of $2.5 million per episode, I did what was necessary. I went to his house, murdered his dog and then drank its blood.

Babe loosely related to finance

Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all the fellas in the house!

culotte-e-trasparenze

I’d post something for the ladies, but we all know they collectively did much better in the Valentine’s Day present department than the gentlemen did.

Time for links

Let’s start things off with an investing piece written by Captain Sexy here, me. If you’re looking for dividends, I’d suggest avoiding these 3 stocks. And then, just a few days after I wrote it, one of the stocks cut its dividend. I’m so smrt.

Over at LowestRates.ca, I took a closer look at what happens when you cancel your car insurance. It can be a good idea, assuming you’re careful about it.

101 Centavos profiles a relatively tiny British processed food company which is doing its best Wal-Mart impression, squeezing suppliers. Click on over to see whether he put any money into it.

Holy Potato gives a great walkthrough of how to defer your RRSP tax deduction to another year. That’s a useful tactic if you’re pretty sure you’re going to make more money in the future but have RRSP room now.

Hate paying bank fees? You could go to Tangerine, but I think there are various benefits to a) having a relationship with your banker and b) being able to pop into your local branch and get a problem taken care of. Luckily, Liquid Independence tells you how most anyone can get effectively free banking.

Vanessa took a close look at You Need A Budget, software that tracks your spending in exchange for $60. Or something, like I’m going to google that and look. See whether she enjoyed it or not.

And finally, I provided an update of the previously hosted at this blog Uproar Fund over at my new site, Canadian Value Investing. Last week was an exciting one for the fund; you’re not going to want to miss that.

And that’s about it. Have a good week everyone.

Why Knowing Whether You’re An Entrepreneur, Manager, or Technician Matters

Here’s Eddie, which kind of rhymes with steady. Does him writing here every week count as him and I going steady? Probably. 

The E-Myth Revisited is a book written by business consultant and writer Michael E. Gerber.  He is a passionate spokesman for igniting the entrepreneurial spirit and promoting small businesses.  I have written a brief review on my website, however, there are several concepts that merit more attention and words than what could be expressed in a short critique.

The most profound yet simple concept that Gerber expresses relates to the three different personalities that reside within the small business owner: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.  This paradigm is important in explaining each role the small business owner plays in the execution of their business plan and how a small business owner can thrive, both professionally and personally.

The entrepreneur is the personality that is visionary and forward-thinking.  It is the hub of creativity, abstract thought, hope, and desire.  The entrepreneur is the optimistic element of one’s essence and is the driving force behind the business.  New business plans, a shift in strategic direction, creating novel products, and similar activities are the fruits of the entrepreneurial mind.

The manager lives in the past.  He thrives on order, planning, and predictability.  The author uses the example of a homebuilder: the entrepreneur is the house-builder and moves on to the next project as soon as the first one is completed while the manager makes the house liveable by mending the issues of the entrepreneur.  The manager is pragmatic, sensible, and provides a practical counterweight to the entrepreneur.  While the entrepreneur is the energetic creator, the manager is the composed maintainer.

The technician is the doer that lives in the present.  He is concerned about the nuts and bolts of a particular task.  Rather than being an energetic visionary like the entrepreneur or a multi-tasking manager, the technician is craftsman that prefers to take things more slowly and each task one at a time.  As such, the technician mistrusts those he works for as they are always trying to get more work done than is desirable.

In essence, the entrepreneur creates the new ideas and initiatives, the manager gives form and discipline to them, and the technician provides the labour and physically creates them.  How these personalities interact will determine the level of happiness and success of a small business owner.  Many people start businesses thinking from the technician’s point of view, as they are angry with their current boss or company for interfering with or perverting their work.  However, the technician soon discovers that their dream of owning their own business was foolhardy, as the technician did not want to assume their roles of entrepreneur and manager, which every small business owner must do to survive and grow.  Managing these personalities and tasks are critical to ensuring a productive and fulfilling enterprise.

Gerber writes within the realm of the small business owner, however, his model can be readily applied to our personal lives.  Models must sacrifice accuracy for simplicity and utility; while Gerber’s thesis lacks detail, the logic and applicability are apparent.  Whether you family and economic unit consists of just yourself, or with your spouse or any number of other parties, the elements of the entrepreneur, manager, and technician are visible within and divided among each person to varying degrees.  Recognizing these aspects is key to promoting fiscal efficiency, developing a life strategy, and promoting fulfilment and harmony.

From a strictly personal finance perspective, the three personalities are easy to discern.  The technician roughly translates into the technical expert, of the person who compares PE ratios, resolutely follows the stock market, can cite contribution limits etc.  The manager evaluates past mutual fund performance, evaluates what brokerage account to use, and is in perpetual fear of the CRA.  This space is where the vast majority of PF blogs exist.  This drives their readership and their revenue.  Sadly, this is largely the extent of their knowledge.

The critical element that is missing is the entrepreneur – the visionary, the strategist, the creative mind.  This is the personality that often gets developed last, if at all, yet is arguably the most important one.  The entrepreneur does not read, nor intensely cares about MERs or RRSPs.  In fact, the entrepreneur likely does not read personal finance books at all.  From a personal finance point of view, the entrepreneur is the personality that is reading about theoretical economics, scouting and evaluating small businesses, carrying a notepad to record ideas, conversing with friends and business acquaintances about a new business venture etc.  This is what is entirely devoid from the PF sphere.  Setting a retirement goal and allocating tax refunds between the RRSP and TFSA is not strategic nor entrepreneurial; it’s pseudo-managerial at best.

Next week’s post will develop this concept more thoroughly and future posts will provide very practical and concrete advice on how to advance your potential within this paradigm.

Credit Card Hacking: Not All It’s Hacked Up To Be

Credit Card Hacking: Not All It’s Hacked Up To Be

When I first heard about the concept, I thought credit card hacking was kind of cool. I could make hundreds of dollars just by getting credit cards and buying stuff that I would normally buy anyway? That doesn’t sound so bad.

But, like usual, my laziness won out. I have yet to replace my 15 year-old 1% cash back credit card. I just can’t be bothered. Over the years it’s served me well. I haven’t paid a nickel in interest, I’ve gotten approximately $80-$100 in cash back per year, and I’ve got it set up so most of my monthly bills come off it, leaving me just having to pay the credit card off. My credit card is most of the reason why I couldn’t care less about getting a no-fee bank account. I do less than 5 bank transactions a month. I’m not going to fret over 50 cents each time.

Essentially, like I’ve talked about, my life is about simplicity. I will gladly pay a little extra (or forfeit dubious “rewards”) to not have to do something. Plus, it’s not so lucrative for Canadians to do this. Americans get much better sign-up deals.

Still, I can understand why the concept of credit card hacking is attractive. In exchange for signing up for a credit card and spending a few thousand bucks on it (money that probably would have gotten spent anyway), you can get hooked up with hundreds of dollars in free hotel stays, airline tickets, restaurant stuff, free gas, and so on. The PF-o-sphere LURVES this stuff, and you feel like a sucker for being left behind.

Fret not little one. It’s just not that simple.

As the fine folks at Control Your Cash (R.I.P.) used to say, take a look at every transaction from the other party’s perspective. Just what exactly is the Hyatt Corporation or British Airways getting out of teaming up with Citibank or JP Morgan to offer schelps like us $999 in FREE HOTEL STAYS?!?!?!?!

It’s easy, once you think about it.

  • All sorts of free marketing, from the lobby of the hotel to the bank branch to the PF bloggers talking about it
  • Having the business’s logo on a primary use credit card for a minimum of 3 months, and most likely longer
  • Additional customer loyalty because they want to go to that hotel or airline to earn points
  • The chance to upsell customers stuff when they do show up. “Oh what the hell? The room was free!”
  • A cut of the fee the bank gets every time the customer swipes the card
  • Better leverage when it comes time to renew the fees for credit card transactions, which is a huge cost
  • Points encourage people to travel, which creates more opportunities to sell flights and hotel rooms

Using the hotel example, it’s easy to see what a sweet deal it is for Paris Hilton’s (smarter) relatives. Giving somebody a “free” room that would most likely have gone empty anyway hardly has any additional cost. You still need to heat the building, keep the lights on, pay the staff, and so on. There’s just a little extra work for the cleaning staff. In exchange, the hotel gets you in the door and hopes like hell that you get breakfast in the morning or rent some porn. Plus, you know, all that free marketing and a small cut of your purchases.

Even a room at Motel 6 is worth more to you than it is to Motel 6, at least most of the time. Which is why you either can’t use the points on a long weekend, or you’re paying out the wazoo for the privilege of doing so.

Even from the bank’s perspective, it’s a great deal. At a minimum, they’re getting a fee each time somebody swipes the card — why do you think the minimum purchases exist? — as well as a certain percentage of people continuing to use the card, racking up interest charges, annual fees, and even more swipe fees. Just look at these numbers, assuming somebody charges up $10k and doesn’t pay it off for a year.

  • Swipe fees: 1% ($100)
  • Annual fee: $99-$700
  • Interest: 18% ($1800)

And, of course, the points are structured so you’re practically obligated to use they to stay at the underlying hotel or fly the underlying airline. They intentionally make them such a good deal that you can’t pass them up.

So what happens? You get logic like this, from one PF blogger on the comment thread of another, talking about how much they’ve “saved” using credit card hacking.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 1.39.09 AM

Congratulations, you saved $6,000 on this vacation.

Except you didn’t.

Anchoring is the oldest trick in the retail book, and yet we still fall for it. If potato chips go on sale every 3 weeks, did you really save $1 per bag by buying this week? Did you really save $200 on that vacuum cleaner that used to sell for $649 but has been marked down to $449 today only? Hell, if we take the logic to its conclusion, I could argue that because I didn’t charge you $50 to read this article, I saved you $50.

You’re welcome.

Besides, who outside of Taylor Swift spends $6200 to go to London and Paris for a week, and not even during peak travel season? It took me less than two minutes to find a direct flight from Toronto to London (via Air Canada) for less than $750 return (per person). I saved $500 for the blogger above in the amount of time it takes to have a bowel movement. If I was willing to make it an 8-day vacation I could fly non-stop for $637 per person. And that’s out of Canada, which is more expensive to fly than the U.S.

It’s the same thing with the hotels. I found many hotels in London for under $200 Canadian per night, which is closer to $150 for our friends to the south and their richer currency. Yeah, you’re not staying at fancy $600/night hotels, but it’s really easy to get 3 stars or better in a great location for under $200/night. And after an additional 5 minutes of poking around, I found out Paris is even cheaper than London.

It would be easy to stay in decent hotels in both places for under $200 per night, including taxes. So to review:

  • $1500 for flights
  • $1400 for hotels
  • $2900 total

In ten minutes I “saved” $3300 on my imaginary European adventure compared to whatever full price is supposed to be.

Okay, fine, I’ll concede that saving $6000 is better than saving $3300, and even if folks spend 30 hours to do it, that’s still $100 per hour. Good news, I have a better way to save $6000.

Don’t go.

Oh, like you’re one to talk, Korea boy.

I’m the first to admit travel is a frivolous pursuit that’s become the new status symbol, and I hate myself for liking it. But I’m also doing it on the cheap. My living expenses in Korea are a fraction of what they are in Canada. I’m running around Asia and still saving 80% of my after tax income. That doesn’t make travel any less frivolous, but at least I’m doing it cheaply.

But here’s the deal. I imagine that the above blogger and her husband will spend at least $1500 of their own money while touring around Europe. After all, the trip is “free,” so they can live a little. $200 was already spent on taxes for the tickets, so that leaves $1300 in spending money for a week. They gotta eat, get around, pay to sightsee, and go from London to Paris.

It’s not that hard to spend that kind of cash, especially with two people. So what if you did something different?

Instead of credit card hacking for hotel stays and free airplane rides, why don’t you use your points for things that are actually useful? A $300 iPod that gets used for 2 hours a day for 5 years is an infinitely better investment than a trip anywhere. It’s the same thing if you use it on mundane things like gas, groceries, or even gift cards to a local restaurant. Spend the rewards on stuff you’d normally buy anyway.

If you compare an exotic European vacation for $1500 compared to $1000 in free gas, it doesn’t look like a fair fight. The vacation wins every single time. But by buying the mundane, you’ll save $1000 while the European vacationers will spend $1500, plus had to spend the $1000 in gas. You’re up $3500. Sure, you don’t have a European vacation, but that’s a luxury you can easily go without, especially for an extra $3500.

I’m cool with credit card hacking. But the reality is most folks should stick to regular old cash back cards. Even if you only end up with 1% back from buying $5000 per year worth of stuff, you’d still be $1550 ahead of somebody who unnecessarily spent money on a fancy vacation. Don’t fall for the anchoring. Don’t fall for the emotional pleas. And certainly don’t fall for a blogger telling you to eschew consumerism at every turn unless it benefits them.

Bottom line? There’s a certain amount of bullshit that comes attached to all of this. It’s not quite as lucrative as it’s made out to be. Which is why most people reading this shouldn’t bother.

 

Friday Morning Dump: Protectionism, Kate Upton, Credit Scores

Friday Morning Dump: Protectionism, Kate Upton, Credit Scores

Let’s talk a little about why I’d never invest in South Korea, by using cars as an example.

As I walk around the streets, there’s a wide variety of cars on the road, just like in every other part of the world. There are very few trucks, because this isn’t rural Alberta and an entire subsection of the population isn’t overcompensating for something. There are grey cars and black cars and sports cars and minivans. Oh, and scooters. Lots of scooters.

(Aside: scooter drivers are the worst. They regularly drive on the sidewalk, run red lights, and go between cars stopped at red lights. In a country with actual road rage they’d get killed.)

And then, after I’d been here for a couple weeks, I realized something.

All the cars on the road are Korean.

At least 95% of the cars (and trucks, and busses, and even the scooters) are made by either Hyundai or Kia. Hyundai owns 38% of Kia, so Hyundai owns probably 75% of South Korea’s car industry. General Motors has a small presence here, thanks to it buying the struggling operations of Daewoo in 2001, but that’s it. Maybe 5% of the cars on the road are GM.

There’s a country three hours away (by boat) that is pretty well known for making cars. Do you know how many Japanese cars are on the road here? None. Not a damn one.

It’s the same story that has plagued governments forever. The Korean car industry is large, has strong self interests, and isn’t shy about influencing the government’s policy on car imports. As a result, huge tariffs exist on Japanese cars, making them uncompetitive.

The protectionism has deep roots, dating back centuries when Japan would regularly invade Korea and make it its bitch. The Koreans were exploited, so they take certain steps to minimize Japanese influence. They’ve grown to be fairly entangled economically, but there’s still a few bad feelings.

Anyway, Korea should open up the economy more. It’s done a nice job, it just needs to take it a few steps further.

Song I like and therefore you should too

The song playing on my iPod THIS VERY MOMENT.

The song changed as I was finding the video on Youtube. Does this still count? I feel like such a fraud.

Simpsons quote

I hear the FXX Simpsons marathon pulled in huge ratings, which has led people to call for the creation of an all-Simpsons channel. Um, yes please.

Milhouse: My ankles are wet but my cuffs are bone dry! Everything’s comin up Milhouse!

Thing you should watch

Most of the time I’m pretty happy with life in South Korea. The ladies are attractive, the scenery is nice, it’s very close to a bunch of places I’d like to visit, and the weather is shaping up to be much better than home over the next few months.

And then everyone starts live-tweeting the NFL opening night game and I HATE YOU ALL JERKS I WANNA WATCH FOOOOOOOOOOTTBBAALALALAICANTHEARYOU.

Enjoy it kids.

Post you might have missed

Vanessa and I went to Korean Costco last weekend. It was glorious. I bought 12 energy drinks for just over $6 and we bought big, fluffy American towels and all sorts of foreign foods. The Korean government charged us an extra 10% for everything we bought that was imported, because of course they did.

Anyway, here’s a post from 2012 about a bunch of day dreamers who think making $200k per year working less than an intentionally repressed McDonalds employee who just wants health care is easy. The comments are especially fun.

Nelson’s so funny

He’s also not wearing pants.

I am a truly unappetizing person.

Stupid picture

It’s not a picture it’s a dog and he’s running DOWN TO THE BEACH AND IT’S OH SO CUTE.

I love the part where he runs through the crowd of people and doesn’t give two craps because all he can see is the water.

Dirty words in Words With Friends

I dunno, but Zynga’s stock is in the toilet again probably because EVERY WEEK I BEG FOR NEW ONLINE FRIENDS AND NONE OF YOU EVER OBLIGE BECAUSE YOU’RE ALL BIG FAT JERKS.

If you want to play my username is NO DAMMIT YOU’VE ALL LOST THAT RIGHT.

Babe loosely related to finance

Kate Upton was in the news this week, for some reason that we’ve all forgotten about even though it was 4 days ago. So let’s go with that.

kate-upton

Click furiously to make it bigger

Oh my. She is attractive.

I saw the pictures, which happened to be right there on Reddit when I went on there Sunday. Lol at the people who are trying to equate my casually viewing those pictures as some sort of equivalent to the guys who did the crime in the first place. By that logic, the kids who gawk at cops loading up a dead body in the woods are murderers.

Was looking at them right? Probably not. But come on. Curiosity about something like this isn’t so bad. Just catch the guy or guys responsible and move on. It’s unfortunate that these celebs had their privacy invaded, just like its unfortunate when anybody is the victim of a crime. The end.

Time for links

Let’s give top spot this week to Afford Anything, who is one of the few blogs where I eagerly click on a new post whenever I see she’s dragged herself away from the world of travel to put down some words. This week she points out that you can make some serious passive coin if you’re just willing to get a little uncomfortable.

Over at Don’t Quit Your Day Job, we have a rare appearance by the elusive Cameron Daniels, who is the internet equivalent of that guy who lives alone 15 miles out of town. Is he a mysterious badass? Or does he just like growing pot? Anyway, he points out that credit scores aren’t exactly rocket science.

I’m not sure how I feel about this post on Save. Spend. Splurge. that rants about certain frugal/wealthy people knocking down others who aren’t quite there. On the one hand it’s a good rant and I always enjoy that, but on the other I think she might be talking about me. Like, at least an 80% chance. Or a certain bike loving early retirement guy. Either-or. Go read it, it’s worth your time.

Another piece by Dale Roberts, my favorite Seeking Alpha author. This one is on the CAPE ratio, and how it’s telling you to stay away from stocks, at least for the time being.

Let’s end this with a couple of my Motley Fool articles, since I’m taking the lady friend to Seoul this weekend. First, I wrote about solar power, and how it could affect some of Canada’s largest power generator stocks.

And then I wrote some words about Bombardier, which continues to get beaten up. I think if you buy it and put it away for a few years you’ll end up doing pretty well.

And that’s it. Have a good weekend everyone.