The Financial Wisdom of Homer Simpson
Some of the best examples in life are the ones that show us how not to do something. Today we are taking a look at one of the worst examples in television to teach us some of the most important lessons about money, finance and the economy.
Here then are Homer Simpsons words of wisdom.
“America can’t collapse! We’re as powerful as ancient Rome!”
– It is great to be positive about the economy, but to think that anything is a “sure thing” or the economy can not fail, your are tricking yourself. It is always good to have something set aside for a rainy day.
“Bart, with $10,000, we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!”
– I am amazed how many people are investing $20-$50 per month and expect to retire millionaires. Knowing your assets and being honest about where you really are and where you plan to be is always rule number one.
“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”
– While a lottery ticket might be a fun stocking stuffer, it makes a terrible retirement plan. You are always better off putting $10 per week into a 401K than a Powerball Jackpot.
“Lisa, if you don’t like your job you don’t strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.”
– However you feel about strikes, I can assure you that not taking your job seriously is not going to get you promoted or earn a recommendation so that you can land your dream job someday.
“Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.”
– Anything that someone tells your without providing evidence, can be discarded without evidence. And just because someone throws some numbers around doesn’t mean that the information is any more reliable or true. If someone offers you and investment opportunity of a life-time, check the real numbers and verify the facts before believing anything.
“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?”
– There is no evidence that learning something new, drives out old information. Most research is actually to the contrary, that the more you learn, the higher your capacity to acquire and retrieve new information.
“Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?”
– Don’t. Just Don’t.
“All my life I’ve had one dream, to achieve my many goals.”
– While pursuing your dreams is always a worthy goal, something more specific than Homer’s dream is needed. When you set a goal, focus on something achievable with a clear way to know when you have accomplished it. Then choose a date that you want to accomplish it by.
“I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”
– Making people work harder is never the goal. Having people accomplish more while they are around you might a much better metric to track.
“That’s it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I’m going to clown college!”
– It is true that no education is wasted, but having an idea of what you want to do with your education before you begin can save you time and resources. If you want to continue your education, it is a good idea to know exactly what you can do with it when you graduate. With a fairly clear career goal in mind, maybe this is one of those times that Homer actually got it right.
“If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.”
– While no one would say they believe it, many people certainly follow this bad advice. Most things that are worth pursuing are difficult. Having said that, just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean that it worth pursuing.
“This year I invested in pumpkins. They’ve been going up the whole month of October and I got a feeling they’re going to peak right around January. Then bang! That’s when I’ll cash in.”
– If only the amateur investors and day-traders didn’t think like this as well. So many people invest in companies because of what they have done in the past and don’t take into account the companies future plans, changes in the overall industry and economy, or how they feel personally about the products that they are backing with their dollars. Informed investors can bring a welcome dose of sanity to an otherwise single-minded industry.
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