My interest in alternatives to traditional investments like IRAs, 401(k)s and pension plans, company retirement plans, tsp- you name it- all started in the Fall of 2008 when I was in my senior year of college, about to graduate into a terrible job market where not even the grocery store would hire me as a cashier, even as a veteran with a college degree.
Watching 2 separate instructors in class talk non stop about what the then-recent housing market and stock market crash (and the subsequent dive in their retirement fund) would mean for them: for 1, it would mean working an additional 10 years. For another, he didn’t get into details, but he kept saying things like “you guys are going to be in bread lines” which was more than a little off-putting to say the least. One guy was from the UK, the other from South Africa.
The fact is they were both right. But today’s bread lines are invisible, all forms of food assistance are done with a plastic card, electronically. And I’m sure the other guy had to work another 10 years, and is probably not much better off today.
People who believed the system would never fail them…. and yet it did, and they had no plan
That’s been more than motivation for me to create a website like this to help people better understand their options.
A Very Important, but Crazy Lesson I Learned in the Navy
When I was learning Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA as a 20 year old sailor who would soon report to work at the National Security Agency, part of our classes consisted of lessons on the history of the Soviet Union. What I learned was pretty shocking and went against what I believe could also be called “common sense”.
I learned that in the Soviet Union, the government and media blatantly lied to the people and covered up information even until the very end when it collapsed saying everything was fine, there was plenty to go around, and they were the greatest and richest nation in the world, all the while they got poorer and poorer.
I remember shaking my head and kind of laughing that people would be duped by such obvious falsehoods- I mean, you could look around and see that you were poor in the Soviet Union- but that lesson has served me well in my understanding and observation of American politics and finance ever since, whether I like it or not.
… So whatever happened to the Soviet Union anyway? It collapsed under the weight of its own lies.
And now in America: the media lies. The government lies. The guy down the street buying oil stocks with no clue as to what he’s doing lies. The politician lies. People lie.
Should you or anyone else be surprised, ever?
Sleeping dogs eventually wake up. They don’t lie forever!