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16 money wasters

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16 minutes ago, erik meade said:

Ummm.  We are exempt because we are part of the state of Illinois pension system.  


The most underfunded in the country. And no social security to fall back on when the state can’t pay... 







Doh, I guess the grass isn't always greener.

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I like to eat and drink well and visit different corners of this planet. I think I'll appreciate that more on my death bed than a robust bank account. YMMV.

First rule of owning hunting dogs, is you never talk about the cost of hunting dogs.

I can now do all those things because I didn't do all those things.

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erik meade
8 hours ago, Remo said:

When I think back over the course of lives of the people I knew, luck had little to do with financial outcomes. Preparation for the most part beat luck most every time.


Real world research shows that the people you know are the exceptions. 


Though more likely it is it is a combination survivor’s bias, availability bias and some self-serving bias.


When I taught business ethics this was a central focus. 


Here is an interesting little experiment you can try.  Sometime, when you are sitting around a campfire, tell a story about a time in which you were lucky in business.  The stories will come out.  Framed this way people are excited to tell their “war stories” about a chance meeting, a good teacher, a good mentor, a swing in demand, etc. you cannot stop them. Everyone has stories, about how things could have gone horribly wrong, but didn’t. Or about they went surprisingly well 


If after that priming you ask people how much luck contributed to their success, they will be much more likely to realize how lucky they have been.


if, on the other hand, you start by telling about how you sacrificed, stories of discipline and sacrifice will come out.  After that priming people will attribute almost none of their success to luck.


similarly if you start with a story of how you outsmarted the competition, those stories again lead to people discounting luck.


Now, the kicker. If you just start by asking people about the role of luck, most of them recall stories of the second and third type (because accessibility bias.. and also self-serving bias)  They effectively self prime to then believe they are self made. 


Try it yourself if you do not believe the easily googleable research. See if it isn’t easy to get your friends to tell luck stories. 



on the other hand some people do not feel lucky to have been born in a time and place of opportunity, nor for the chances they have had, or the people that have helped them along the way. They feel entitled.


And come across to the rest of us as ungrateful... 

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And when you think of what a tiny slice of humanity has managed to be born in the developed world after the World Wars, each and every one of us is profoundly lucky.  If nothing else, our chances of dying from smallpox are pretty darn low, and that's not nothing when you consider how many people haven't been able to be similarly confident.

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erik meade

I just got back from the park for our small town's memorial day service, which I suspect is like the memorial day service in the towns where you live.  Some really huge flag from a crane, boy scouts lined up holding flags, some prayer, high school band, a locally prominent speaker. 

After those kinds of things, it is dumbfounding to me that anyone could give a moment's reflection on what a gift they were given,  And at what cost. 


At such a horrible cost.


And then come away thinking that they are self made.  Or responsible for their own luck in life. 

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