I have sometimes felt sad and ashamed for not knowing the first thing about financial markets and securities. I have tried making jokes to cover my feelings of inadequacy: I'm thinking of changing my investment strategy, I might say, when the conversation comes around to the uncomfortable topic of investing. Yes, I may try moving from a Christmas Club to a passbook savings account this year.
And then -- when Bear Stearns closes at $30 a share on a Friday and is bought out for $2 a share on the weekend -- I don't feel nearly so inadequate any more.
My understanding of finances may be summed up in three rules, each consisting of only two words. Herewith, Curmudgeon's Rules of Finance:
2. Debt bad.
3. Income necessary.
If everyone kept these three little rules in mind, we wouldn't be worried about the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market. Mind you, I haven't been able to follow my own advice for several years. It's a combination of five kids in school and inadequate income that have taken me down... but, remember, don't do as I do, do as I say.
And with an attitude like that, maybe I should go for politics again, eh?