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The rich are sanctimonious pricks that deserve every insult thrown at them. Who do they think they are? Just because they didn’t spend every penny they earned and invested their money wisely does not give them the right to be treated like everyone else. Just because they never wasted their money on fancy SUVs, luxury vacations, or kept up with the Jones’s does not give them the right. It does not give them the right! Who are these rich I speak of? Well, anyone with a net worth above zero.
About half of Americans are below the waterline in net worth. These normal people who succumbed to the mass media brainwashing of spend everything you got are the normal people. You, my friend, saved and invested. You are an idiot. If you were poor, like a normal person, you would be treated like a normal person. But, no. You and your almighty attitude of spend less than you earn is as annoying as it is ignorant.
I Can’t Take Anymore
The opening to this post was darn hard to write. It goes against every fiber of my being, yet is the attitude of the majority of people. When you get to see the world from my side of the desk you have the opportunity to see large numbers of people and how they handle their finances up close. You also hear disturbing stories.
The pressure to spend is endless. Mass media had gone out of its way to program people into spending zombies. The zombies are also trained to ferret out those few who avoid most of mainstream media and pressure these poor souls into service of the zombie army.
And don’t think you are exempt. They are watching you. You know what I am talking about. You can feel their shifty eyes looking out at you, accusing, condescending. They loath you because you had the audacity to save. To invest. To build a nest egg and a positive net worth. Like me, you need to disguise yourself when you venture out to make the rare purchase. It takes great care because the zombies can smell you. It is the smell of growing money and they want it so they can spend it.
Ah, I Am a Farmer
Mrs. Accountant and I needed a freezer to store our ample garden produce and for beef from a recently butchered steer. We dress up in our Sunday go to meetin’ clothes for our adventure to the appliance store. This is an event that only happens once in a blue moon!
Since this purchase was years ago when the internet was not what it is today, we needed to do some research by hand. Our goal was to check a few stores and then decide on the best freezer at the best price. We wanted value. When we walked into the second appliance store the salesman happened to be a tax client. It was a bad omen. Since he was my client his attitude was I would buy the most expensive freezer at full price, no questions asked. I owed him!
Needless to say, I did not buy a freezer from that store. The client never returned, not that I cared. When I am in the market to buy a larger ticket item I must take precautions. I buy my cars used from the bank. At retail outlets I wear those glasses with the big nose and mustache attached. Not conspicuous at all. When asked what I do for a living I say I am a farmer. A poor, broke farmer with no money to spend so please give me your best offer. Then I will go home and check the couch and see if enough change has accumulated there to cover the purchase.
It’s not a lie! I am a farmer! Sure, farming isn’t my first line occupation, accounting is. But if I tell someone what I really do I may as well start reaching for my ankles as I say it because they will service the account from behind. Business owners are all overpaid rich people who deserve to be soaked, or so the theory goes. Many products where the price can be negotiated down requires the salesperson to believe you are a poor schmuck or they are resistant to offer their best deal.
Oh, You’re a Doctor
Now we turn to a client I have had the great pleasure to serve for nearly two decades. He is a doctor with heart. He loves helping people and he can’t find a way to stop doing what he loves. He now works out of his home helping pharmaceutical companies develop promising therapies. He is one of the good ones.
Our doctor friend has a very high income, as you might expect. The high income does not mean he wants to waste his money. He handles money with respect. He expects to leave a legacy and provide for charities.
He also has a major problem. His work requires him to speak frequently and he is on the road a lot. He needs a reliable auto and that is where the problems begin. When our friend, the good doctor, walks into an auto dealership the sales team is already counting their commission. It is the same wherever he goes. As soon as it is discovered he is a doctor the offer changes. If you are a doctor, you pay full price; no negotiating. There have been instances where the doctor called me after breaking down and making a purchase where I had to go in and raise hell to get his money back. The good doctor is a nice man; on the other hand, I am not. I am a class A asshole when I have to be. Boning my client because he was so stupid as to have a positive net worth boils my blood.
I could go on with story after story. The end game is always the same. People with money, the so-called rich, get screwed when they decide to part with their hard-earned money. It’s as if they have no right to act responsibly with money.
A Dying Breed
You are a dying breed, my friends. So many people spend more than they earn on wasting assets and other assorted junk. They then complain how bad the economy is when the reality is things have never been better. Half the stuff we use is free on the internet, food is cheap, the library provides all our entertainment for free, and energy prices are low. About the only things we need to spend money on is housing and utilities. It does not take much to live anymore; technology has made life so easy we have time to sit around all day and whine about it.
The worst part about a living species on the verge of extinction is that so many want to bag one of the remaining beasts as a trophy. You are the beast, the trophy. If only they can find a way to pry the money from your fist of investments.
The biggest mistake in life is to let people know you have two nickels to rub together. Oh, you are in for it then. The price of that car or freezer just went up. A lot! Somebody deserves a commission and it is your duty to provide it. I lost a client because I refused to be screwed when buying a freezer. The truth is it was cheaper to lose the client than to overpay for the freezer.
There is a way to deal with these morons, however. It took me a long time to figure it out. As far as I know it is the only way to get the job done. It requires psychology. You can easily mess with the minds of people who need a constant money fix because they are broke. I am not suggesting hurting anyone in any way. What I propose is getting the best value for your money without getting abused because you have a job people perceive as too high paying or because they think you can afford to overpay.
It is best to explain by example. A successful business owner asked me to help him buy a service truck for his business. Only a few dealerships in town had what he needed for his business and they were firm on the list price. The truck listed at around $52,000 and the dealership was willing to drop the price to $48,000, no lower. We knew this was not the best price as I saw invoices from other clients paying in the low 40s.
I was ticked so I rolled up my sleeves. Treating a potential client with disdain is a no-no in my book. I asked the business owner to bring $40,000 cash with him when we visited the dealership. Well, the dealership was going to show this wealthy accountant a thing or two. The price is $48,000, firm. Bullshit!
I explained to the salesman he would need to do better. He said the dealership would lose money if they went lower. I explained they must be going out of business because I saw several similar trucks on tax returns selling for less. The guy swallowed hard as he was caught in a lie. Time for the manger.
I shook his hand with my best smile. I swear no teeth were showing. I got a similar song and dance along with faux issues that required a higher price for this particular truck. Then I played my trump card.
I took the briefcase with $40,000 from my client, placed it on the table, and opened it in front of the manager. “This is my final offer,” I said. A lot of people are defenseless when they see cold, hard cash in front of them. The manager hee-hawed around a bit. I said, “If we do not close this deal right now today we are going to a different city far away and buying the truck there. The cost of a small amount of driving will easily be covered by the $8,000 in savings.
The manger went through the typical theatrics in the back room and finally agreed to the terms. Then he was nervous about taxes and title. We put that on the credit card after a thirty second cry session.
Dirty pool? Probably. But they were selling the exact same vehicle for $40,000 to $42,000. I know. I depreciate those things for clients. The dealer made money or they would not have sold.
You work hard for your money. You save and you invest. People will try to rob you of your frugal stash. The best I can offer is these parting words: Hi, my name is Keith Schroeder. Do you have a freezer a poor farmer can afford?