walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

what to teach the next generation about money?

This is a long-standing question of mine. I certainly see the benefits of financial independence. Boy howdy, it's nice.

But I have a lot of reservations about how my parents got there, and even about how I got here. Some hedge fund operative who socked away an obscene amount of money during this last go round who has the sense to not spend it all in one place should not gain a lot of respect for having fully financed their future commitments ahead of time -- and depending on the details, they ought to be feeling at least a smidge guilty about some of it. Some should be feeling very guilty. It's one thing to play the hand you're dealt. It's wholly another to design the venue so you see everyone's cards before they do. And define the rules of play. And control security so you can bounce them when they object.

My current thinking is teach frugality with a conscience: don't be such a cheap pick-an-insulting-noun that you screw other people reflexively. Have a good time within limits. Pick a profession that will support the lifestyle you're going to live whether you can fund it or not. Think about how you use debt/credit. If you see an economist making some sort of case for something, run away. If you are trapped, kick the shit out of the economist until they shut up. They do not have your best interests at heart. And if your heart is set on hoarding up a pile of whatever, recognize you probably will be screwing some very good people who don't have the "sense" you do, so at least don't mock them after their money has been transferred to your pockets.

But it's a puzzle. As the original daytime Phil used to ask, anyone got any wisdom to share?
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