The Beautiful People

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”  – Bob Hope 

Ordinary people need financial advice, but their pleas are often ignored due to high minimums and bad attitudes.

According to research by New York University’s economist, Edward Wolffthe top 10% of American households (as defined by household wealth) own 84% of all stocks.

  • Just 27% of the middle class owns at least $10,000 in equities, compared with 94% of the wealthiest households. (Ben Carlson)
  • Only 45% of U.S. workers participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. (Ben Steverman)
  • The average household in the top 10% of today’s wealth distribution is almost three times as rich as the average household in the top 10% of 1971’s distribution. (Noah Smith)

Source: Michael Batnick

Nobody begrudges firms for chasing the beautiful people. They generate the most revenue.  Praying on the altar of R.O.I. needs to be balanced with diminishing returns for humanity.

Readers send me stuff like this:

“Went online to do the research and found your post (among others, yours is the most thoughtful and eloquent). Just want to say thanks for putting into words what my ‘gut’ was telling me. One thing I heard over and over was that everyone had told this particular agent that he should never work with teachers because they didn’t have any money and so he by extension would not make any money which only made me feel bad about my chosen profession – not the greatest foundation for a financial relationship, or any relationship for that matter. 🙂

We are proud to say we have NO MINIMUMS for public servants deployed as cannon fodder for conflicted financial salespeople.  All we require is a wealth mindset and a belief in capitalism. We’ll do the rest and, importantly,  we’ll do the right thing.

We paid a visit to a small town a couple of months ago and set up a low-cost 457 plan for municipal employees.  Also included was a jargon-free presentation.  Attending the meeting were clerks, highway workers, and other public servants.

Immediately I spotted someone I could relate to.  One of the highway workers attended our meeting in a full-out sleeveless undershirt, which made perfect sense given that he works on roads where the sweltering asphalt creates temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

That morning, I had spilled some turmeric tea on my shirt and was unaware I was walking around with a huge yellow stain across my chest. We bonded over our attire. (I probably deserve this for drinking tumeric tea.)

After speaking with him, I learned some interesting things. He had no e-mail account because he didn’t own a computer and he had no desire to change his situation.  Many believe social media is the ultimate validator of relevance, this guy couldn’t have cared less.  In fact, he seemed pretty damned happy.

Some of our clients have multi-million dollar accounts but are always looking for the next shoe to drop.  There is a lesson to be learned here somewhere.

The sweet spot is making a good living and helping as many people as possible.  The latter will give you more satisfaction.

If you are a teacher or another type of public servant, let us know.  The last thing you’ll get from us is an attitude.