Why Do the Same People Who Applaud
Bull Markets Disdain Credit-Card Debt?

You hear these guys all the time. They can be highly judgmental.

“Dickens was wrong. These people with their credit-card debt should be put in prison. Thank you, God, for making me so much better than them.” That sort of thing.

Then the subject of bull markets comes up. They’re doing a happy dance. They’re rolling the dice and singing that “Baby needs a new pair of shoes!” It’s an entirely different tune.

Huh?

What’s bad about credit-card debt? Living on credit-card debt is living a lie. You’re buying stuff you don’t have the money to own. It catches up with you in the end. It’s fundamentally dishonest. Someone is going to have to bail you out. It’s imprudent.

Okay, fine. Some of us have gotten a bit carried away with the credit-card debt thing. I’ll give them that one. The attitude is about as appealing as the line in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” where he says “Look at you all….”, but otherwise I cannot argue too much.

Now let’s take a look at bull markets. We pump up our returns for a time by borrowing from the returns earned by investors of the future. Is there anything bad about that?

Pretending that bull market returns are real is living a lie. It encourages you to buy stuff you don’t have the money to own. It catches up with you in the end. It’s fundamentally dishonest. Someone is going to have to bail you out. It’s imprudent.

It’s sort of the same thing, isn’t it?

Who judges the judges?

Today’s Passion: When I was a boy, you didn’t get to see as many movies as you spoiled kids of today do, let me tell you. There was no Netflix then. You had to go to this place called a “theater” and, if you weren’t old enough to be allowed to cross big streets, it wasn’t too easy to pull off. So when I hear someone taking shots at an old friend from those days, I cannot help but post a blog entry entitled In Defense of Mary Poppins.

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