The Opposite of Me

I met a really interesting guy while I was floating around a pool in Mexico last week. He was from Oklahoma, and we had both probably consumed more drinks than we should have one afternoon when we got to speaking about what we did. It turned out that this guy was some sort of salvage buyer for insurance companies and has done this his entire life.

As an example of a “deal” he was involved in, he had purchased 150,000 board feet of oak, which was currently drying in one of his yards. He said that the wood would have retailed for around $5 per board foot, but he would be selling this at a much more moderate price. He told me that once this sale was made, he would be able to retire.

As we talked, he stated that he had made millions of dollars over his career and had spent every penny of it, on race-cars, boats, houses and parties. Now, it may have been the enormous cups of rum and coke he had been drinking at the pool bar causing exaggeration, but he really didn’t have much reason to lie to me.

Listening to his story, I told him that he was like the opposite of me. I am far too conservative to roll the dice on some of the deals he described. I can appreciate the fact that he is willing to go for the big gain, to make enough for retirement in one big deal, but I’m not willing to put either my own capital at risk to do something like that, or leverage the deal with borrowed funds to create the dollars.

I would classify myself as more of a “plodder” – I prefer to make more slow, higher probability gains in my financial life than run the risk of financial ruin. I would get too stressed to have a good percentage of my assets, along with someone else’s invested in something super risky in an attempt to create wealth.

My way of growing a reasonable fortune is not risk free – most of my plan revolves around investing in income-producing stocks and hoping for the best, which some people would think is insane as well. While this slow, very moderate method takes (seemingly) forever to achieve financial independence, it is relatively more risk free than other methods and causes me considerably less stress.

I would prefer to be debt free, have low monthly expenses and create cashflow to support my moderate lifestyle. I can’t imagine being able to sleep at night, hoping I’ll be able to unload some sort of truckload of stuff that I’ve sunk cash into in the hope it will work out – it would be too stressful.

Are you conservative in your lifestyle, or do you shoot for the big score to achieve your financial independence? Do you have a risk profile that would allow you to attempt a “big deal”, risking a good chunk of your saved assets to do so?

Tales from Boxing Day Shopping

It was Boxing Day and I was surround by crazy people…I mean I watched a line that stretched for over half a mall for a single store crazy.  So like the one eye man in the kingdom of the blind…I gave up and found a place the served beer at 10 am or so.

You see I never really wanted to go boxing day shopping but my wife wanted to go and no one else was available…besides I had arranged to hang out with a friend during the main part of the chaos…so that is what drove me to drinking at 10am.  You see last year I finally got smart and realized the joy of online shopping and I loved it.  So now being back in the madhouse just made me want out of there even more.  Yet I love my wife, so I was there anyway.

I think what really drives me nuts about Boxing Day at a mall is the crowds of people…who aren’t even shopping.   The glassing eye husbands who are holding bags, the teenagers who are just cruising around not buying a damn thing and the overly exhausted children having a nuclear style meltdown in the middle of a store.  In fact, I speculate that if you removed these people from the mall that crowds would decrease by about 30%.  So here is a hint for everyone…if you don’t need to be there please be a good person and get out of the way…besides beer tasting is much more fun than standing in line for your wife. *grin*

In the end, it all worked out well.  I hide in the pub for the morning and got a good visit in with my friend, my wife found her ‘deals’ and was happy.  Then I returned home and did my usual online shopping…and bought a new 46 inch 1080p smart TV…no I didn’t need it, but did save for the entire purchase amount before it will be shipped to my house.  Way easier to buy some things online.

So do you do any Boxing Day shopping?  If so, which do you like: online or in person?

Merry Christmas to All

So I am starting a well deserved holiday break this weekend, as such I may not be writing much here for the next week. Just a heads up for you to feel free to ignore the internet and spend some time with your families… Or not depending upon how much you like your family. 😉

Merry Christmas to all!