Rob, do you mean “middle class” or just the average investor? I think you mean the average investor, not middle class. (we’re talking about how sophisticated an investor is here right, not if they are middle or upper class?)
Thanks much for stopping by, Kathyrn.
I understand your question. I use that “middle-class” phrase all the time in everything I write. There’s a logical sense in which you are correct. The advice applies to wealthy investors as well as to middle-class investors.
But here’s the thing: I do not care about wealthy investors!
I have nothing against them as people. I have met many kind and giving and smart rich people. I love rich people. But I do not write for them. If they read my stuff, I am grateful. But it is not rich people that I have in mind when I think about investing and organize my thoughts and craft my sentences.
A word that people often use to characterize my writing is “passionate.” To the extent there really is passion there, it is there because, when I write, I have a reader in mind who I am writing to. That reader is a middle-class person. He’s not poor because poor people generally cannot benefit from the money strategies I write about (I love poor people too, of course — I just do not write for them). And he’s not rich because I’m not worried so much about what happens to the money of the rich (as much as I love them regardless).
Say that a person with $3 million in assets suffers a 50 percent loss from doing dumb stuff with his money. He’s still got $1.5 million. He’s upset. But he’s not busted. He still goes to the beach that year.
Now say that a person with $300,000 in assets suffers a 50 percent loss. That may mean that his or her son or daughter does not get to go to college. He or she may well not go to the beach that year because of the fear he feels over what has happened. This is a very different situation.
I had zero interest in personal finance until I lost a job I loved at age 35. All of the work I have done in the saving and investing fields followed from that experience. I hated the feeing of financial vulnerability. I have made it my life’s work to help other middle-class people never experience those feelings. The full truth is that I have come to believe that God put me on earth to do this work (as crazy and scary as that sounds).
Anyway, I love rich people. I wish them all the best in all their life endeavors. I am happy if some of them care to read my stuff. I love the idea of talking things over with them and kidding around with them and all this sort of thing. But the people I am thinking of when I write my words are middle-class people. It is their money worries and hopes that drive me. I am happy to have anyone benefit from the advice. But my intent is to help middle-class people. That’s where my heart is. And every word that I write starts in the heart. I’m not one of these people who strives to be a purely rational being. Not this boy!
I was born in Northeast Philadelphia. That’s where all this is coming from. The people who live there call it The Great Northeast. No outsider has ever been able to figure out why we call it that. But we still do call it that all the same. You can take the boy out of Northeast Philadelphia but you cannot take the Northeast Philadelphia out of the boy!