A man of no ambition

A memory came to me this morning while I was walking the dog, a memory of those days when I was fresh out of college and just beginning to work for my father at the box factory.

A salesman had come knocking on our door. This was strange since the box factory was (and still is) located in a rural area. But somehow this guy had found us and he was there to make his pitch: He was a salesman who trained salesmen. (And, presumably, saleswomen although this wasn’t part of the spiel in 1992.)

Dad, amused, introduced this fellow to me. “This is JD,” Dad said. “He’s our salesman. Talk to him.” So, this guy sat down with me in a back room of the shabby trailer house that served as company HQ. (This was the very trailer house I’d grown up in. And trust me when I said it was a pit, a sty. It was just as bad as you’re imagining. Maybe worse.)

“How would you like to make more money?” the salesman who trained salesmen said to me. He was an older gentleman dressed in a brown corduroy suit.

“I’d love it,” I said. Despite my father’s nepotism in hiring me, I wasn’t paid much: $16,500 per year and no commissions — about $35,500 in 2022 dollars.

“Let me show you what I can do for you,” the salesman said, smiling. That’s my over-riding memory of this conversation: the guy’s permagrin. It never went away. Even when he was resting, he had that shit-eating grin on his face.

Read More

The Unhappiest Cities In America Based On A Wealth Reality Ratio

Are you trying to determine your level of financial satisfaction or dissatisfaction? After all, if you’re more satisfied financially, you should also be happier and less stressed. Good news! The FS Wealth Reality Ratio (FSWRR) will help you quantify your feelings and reveal the unhappiest cities in America!

The core attribute about the FS Wealth Reality Ratio is about managing expectations. After all, happiness equals reality minus expectations. The higher your expectations, the lower your happiness. The better the reality compared to expectations, the higher your happiness.

If you go to Harvard and end up doing the exact same work as a non-Harvard graduate does, you might feel a little disappointed. But if you go to Podunk U and end up getting paid the same as your Harvard co-worker, you are probably thrilled!

I didn’t go to Podunk U, but I did go to The College of William & Mary for only $2,800 a year in tuition from 1995 – 1999. Comparable private universities cost about $22,000 a year at the time.

Therefore, any job I got that paid more than my $4/hour McDonald’s job in high school would be a blessing. And boy did it feel good not to have high expectations placed upon my shoulders.

The Financial Samurai Wealth Reality Ratio (FSWRR)

As a Financial Samurai, always think in derivatives. Try to think about what’s behind and beyond the numbers. When you start thinking in derivatives, you will find many more answers and solutions to common problems.

In my article about the net worth amount required to be considered wealthy in various cities, I introduced you to the Financial Samurai Wealth Reality Ratio (FSWRR). The higher the ratio, the unhappier you likely are and vice versa. Below is the ratio’s formula.

FSWRR = Minimum Net Worth Required To Be Considered Wealthy / Median Home Price

For example, if you believe you need a net worth of $50 million to be happy in a city that has a median home price of only $500,000, psychologically there’s likely something wrong with you.

A 100:1 FS Wealth Reality Ratio is extreme. Your expectations about how much happiness money can bring you is way too high. Further, you’ll likely never going to achieve that level of net worth.

Source Of The Data

The data about the minimum net worth required to be considered wealthy comes from Charles Schwab’s annual Modern Wealth Survey. Your individual opinion matters. However, having a larger survey is more impactful for statistical significance and overall research purposes.

The median home price comes from Zillow, Redfin, St. Louis Fed, US Department of Housing And Development, and the National Association Of Realtors. These figures are more objective. Although interestingly, nobody really can say with certainty what the median home price is in America.

By analyzing mass data, we can identify which city residents are happiest (most satisfied) and unhappiest (least satisfied).

Why The Median Home Price Is Used

The median home price is used in the denominator because it is

Read More

Explosions Rock Kyiv as Ukraine Braces for Broad Russian Attack

Explosions echoed across the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Monday as Ukrainian officials warned of a large-scale Russian missile attack aimed at targets nationwide.

The missiles approached Kyiv at about 5 am local time and air defenses appeared to work, Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a statement as the first missiles entered the air space above the capital. He didn’t offer additional details.

Air raid sirens were warning of more strikes throughout Ukraine. The attacks followed a weekend of explosions deep behind Russian lines, including one at an oil depot in Russian-occupied Crimea on Saturday. The spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern command, Natalia Humeniuk, said the depot fire is part of preparations for “the broad, full-scale offensive that everyone expects” Ukraine to launch soon.

The flurry of attacks signals intensified fighting by both forces in a conflict that has for months been marked by grinding advances in small towns and deadly shelling along the front line and across the border between the two countries. Both sides have said they are preparing for a counteroffensive that would likely renew attempts to gain territory.

The explosions in Kyiv on Monday were a few hours after Russia attacked Pavlograd in central Ukraine, sparking a massive fire that lit up the night sky. As images of the blasts circulated on social media, the city government urged residents to find shelter and not “roam around the city.”

Read More