Irrationally mad decision making to obtain the American Dream.

A short reflection essay on “Stock Market Predictions, The End of the World, and A Po-man’s Life”

I remember being a young 19 year old buck reading stock market prediction books in the 2000′s. The Dow and Nasdaq should have crashed by now and everyone would be broke and hungry (accept of course us landlords and farmers) – if of course Rich Dad Poor Dad’s Kiyosaki and many other financial guru’s were right. However the stock market is doing rather well even with it’s big swings monthly for the past few years.  Kiyosaki even recently went through bankruptcy however like most rich he slipped any judgements by creating multiple company identities stashing untouchable cash. Smart guy and total capitalist.

We live in America where we can really do whatever we want. I was speed walking with my mother today and in our chat we talked about how being absolutely broke and content or very wealthy are the best classes to be in as a U.S. citizen. The middle class always vote for the rich but never really get rich unless they give up their spending and get smart. Broke people and senior citizens are covered through welfare and sympathy. If you are broke you just don’t pay, you just don’t work, and you still get paid – in some way through our systems in America. Middle class pay and are forced to pay. The rich just have money so things that cost money just aren’t an issue and I’ve never met a person with money stressing out about a used car repair bill, medical bill, or student loan payments.

I would say I’m very poor and contently happy with my being broke. I’m happy with my used car, the old trailer I live in, and my two investment homes I own that I’ll likely never sell due to major negative equity (which was my plan to pay off my six figure student loans). I don’t care that I have crooked teeth, generally grotesque looking, and that I’m generally incapable of holding a job longer than three years. I think I’m destined to become a redneck farmer / part-time pizza delivery driver, unwed, and always drinking.

I’ll be honest here. I think being candid, here in cyberspace, isn’t smart since my future employer’s human resources searching my name on the internet will discover this fearless/careless blog and decide to likely send me a “Dear John” email reply to one of my online job submissions (thanks a lot corporate Domino’s for all 30 robot replies you sent me back). I feel hiring managers are becoming more robotic and less intuitive about hiring people who actually show they want to work for the company.

So as you can see I was rather disappointed that the world didn’t end in 2012. I figured at least if it started to end and all the major banks got blown up with hot magma or astroids then at least in the aftermath of it all no debt collectors or student loan collectors would still call me twenty times a day. I could become a natural leader that knew how to survive in the forest, off minimal foods, and encourage survivors to live off grid. In this process become more content with each other working together day by day recovering. However, the world didn’t end and I hate corporate and military politics. Here I am sending out a few hundred resumes a month for the past year (not even hoping) to get back an interview. I think this is why I only got two interviews in the past year. I know I’m destined to work for myself, or my slumlord sister, or become a naturalist like Mr. Thoreau and create my own Walden’s Pond.

So at last a “po-man” (poor man – not stoner food), 100%, after spending my last landlord rental savings going cross country in my dying VW Beetle in pursuit for a job I really wanted to take and own. As normal I was told I was crazy and why can’t I just get a job where I was (Virginia) – well apparently I’m incapable and inexperienced but definitely academically qualified – which I should be since it cost $100k – most of this went to business failures and other traders not even greedy academic institutions. This led me to become desperate on my cross country trip internship with a California aquaponics start-up. At this start-up I found myself the most educated person out of around 17 working. I also found myself being bullied being told I was “retarded” for going to college for which I could just learn everything on the internet. This may all be true, but thanks for constantly reminding me you don’t want people who commit to finishing something they started (and paid for). The pro’s: road trips are always refreshing, since this really broke my bank I now know all I can do is farm some land, and last maybe get a recommendation letter? Likely not after this review.

Out of seventeen co-workers five people including myself actually slave labored for free being called “interns” and promised high paying jobs in a new innovative sustainable agriculture industry: aquaponics. So, okay, well, that didn’t happen and it made a lot of late age 20′s a bit angry and disgusted especially with leadership which seemed to ditch 98% of the work days I was there for “other busy things they had to do” but actually physically build and clean their own greenhouse up. My three guaranteed meals a day instantly turned into one – if that. I stuck it out 50 days there and feel proud (only for myself) about staying loyal and dependable and gaining two extremely complaining comrades (which only made me more upset but they taught me some something cool for people that don’t have money or food or work or don’t want to work: freeganism - more particularly dumpster diving which we did to provide us food – and let me tell you it was a thrill and the food was great!).

These two for some reason wouldn’t do anything without me and saw me as their personal savior Jesus to make it through their last two weeks there. Thanks Y—– and F—— for believing in me. Forgive those leaders who couldn’t even learn your names and made you the “Chinese and Russian guys”. Granted you rarely worked even when you did, but you showed up on your own expense ready to learn and there was no real internship program to teach you anything. But you bled yourself out by removing 5,000 cobwebbed itchy rose bushes for the four weeks you were there in return for a few lunches and stuffy offices as bedrooms with one bathroom for 17 people to share. Yuck. Oh, what joy the world continues to bring me and to the ones that dare to take risks into the unknowns for a volunteer internship position. So what? We were a bit exploited and laws were broken offering us “internships”, but hey I learned a lot trying to build the worlds largest aquaponics farm. It can be possible if the invisible hand offers you free or low cost labor for maximum profit and if you have eager interns that want to better themselves. A few interns still work for free and a few paid under minimum wage. I really don’t understand why. It’s just unethical the way it’s being done and since I can’t stop it, and I’m told I’m retarded I left. I already feel a thousand percent better.

I expect the company to have to pay for labor sooner or later but for now commercial aquaponics is like putting money into a sinking sailboat. I suggest to sell it when things are green and retire young and rich (as I always wanted to when I was rather young and dumb – by the way my sister did take my advice and she’s asset rich).

The world hasn’t ended yet but I think it’s close. When you are a military veteran, you have three diverse academic degrees, tons of Internet start-up experience (in a world where e-commerce thrives), a decade of stock market research, and on top of this you can’t even get a cleaning job (I was turned down for that too) I think the world isn’t going to hold up too much longer. Or maybe I am just not trying hard enough, I’m not trainable, or socially not engaging. I hope not to sound so negative because I’m not. I’m actually peppy. Go-lucky. Just worried about all the ones that aren’t patient, sane, and experienced being constantly wrong. I suppose my gift is being able to eat up my failures and re-strategize quickly, organizing, and continuing to just live and not dwell on the past. I suppose my dad’s always been right. I should have just become a Catholic priest in the family. Free room and board plus a small salary and my work load is relatively light. He would constantly tell me childhood to adulthood I should be a priest, something deeply I think he wished and dreamed about. Too bad for him he knocked up to wives one of which is my awesome mom. Sorry mom you married a priest and not a commercial pilot.

So as the end of the world nears get your guns, stock up on canned goods, and hope you get locked up in your bunker with a person who enjoys board games and cards. Until the next random time I share some reflections of thoughts from the past and present go forth and be passionate and never look back my internet wandering seekers of information.

Signing out,

Paul

BA/MLITT/MBA

Life Professor

6 responses

  1. nice article Paul! keep going :)

    September 24, 2013 at 3:20 am

  2. paul, it seems your no longer in the market trading options? Am I right on this? sad If it is true if you would of put aside the crazy rules and instead trading on reducing risk and keeping capital you would have about 4-6 hundred k. INSTEAD it seems you have dropped into mediocrity and accepted it like everyone else.. guess the market took another warrior out.. its not a race, its a marathon. and you quit, gave up and said I would rather be broke. LOL how can you call this a finance blog when you have nothing to offer with a blog post like this one. You made money you lost money (haven’t we all ?) but you gave up.

    Sad and uninspired
    Jim

    September 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    • Jim,

      There is nothing in my essay stating I gave up! Hell no, more like waiting to wash into shore again due to having no ores! My great mentor who truly inspired me said also trading stocks is a lifetime commitment to becoming great and wise at it. So right now I’ve been on an extended break. I’ve been out of work, my debt load has risen unwisely, and I took my remaining basket of money for a place to live out in the woods constructing a micro ranch. This blog dairy is still where I write about money and what it does to people in America. I still follow stock prices pretty much daily and haven’t stopped and trust me I want to trade again! It’s just in me, but trading isn’t a JOB it’s a business and my business with it never turned a profit. This financial warrior is thirsty for a fight and ongoing challenge in markets right now that are just booming with big money traders especially in tech and internet stocks. But you need money to make money in the markets – money I just can’t afford to lose right now. I’m the laugh currently, but you are right that I should at least keep practicing trade ideas. I told myself once I feel real good luck – maybe even get a nice girlfriend and I feel ultra positive and things are going for me – that’s when I’m going to trade again. There is real “luck” in the market oh man there is.

      September 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      • Well it seems there is fight in you yet.. well the best way to start is to go small and I would suggest options myself being and options trader myself. Since you still watch the market pick some thing you want to be in.

        For me its staples.. I love the mgmt they have. I have a jan 15 LONG CALL with a strike of 15 now every month I write a call for the current month and collect a premium which pays me back a portion every month. in 14 months when the long is due.. it will not matter where the stock is at because I would be over 100 percent. Total cost to start.. 180.00 when all send and done it will be a free trade… just sayin if your
        not going to start now.. life is not guaranteed. I would to see your next post on your rebirth of your fire and energy in the market.

        September 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

  3. Kevin Lohman

    Your linkedin makes you look like a “freeter” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeter — A scary prospect to an employer, over-qualified with a long story of short employments (volunteer and otherwise) which can look like a track record of failure.

    I don’t think I’ve met anyone who needed a win more then you Paul :) Desperation (relationship, and otherwise) – http://www.datingadviceguy.com/2008/03/16/why-desperation-is-so-unattractive/ is hard to shake off and self perpetuating (Being desperate leads to failure, which only makes you more desperate) — Keep your chin up (You’ve got great optimism when you try) and try for some of the low fruit. Trim your resume to include your longest term employments and try and find a job you can stick with for a while (even if it isn’t exactly what you want) so that you can build a strong resume bullet that shows success (and hopefully sates that appetite enough to take the desperation out of your eyes).

    Any one of us could have ended up in the same place, and I wish you the best luck man. Let me know if you are still looking for a place to crash for a few days (Girlfriend won’t go for much longer than that) – as I’d love to hang out again.

    October 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    • Hahaha. I remember someone saying something like that years years years ago (freeter or short-term bursts on the resume), but I was young and listened less. I’ll definitely take your advice. I guess free resume services at college didn’t help. Personally I always thought being so versatile in so many things and areas made me the best MBA “generalist” manager anyone would ever hire – apparently not. Market is tough. It’s even though get a fast-food job! Read my most recent post. I definitely don’t see a great woman in my life any time soon until I can offer security – it is what every woman really wants (mass majority over 30). Too bad I missed you. It would have been fun just to get a beer and talk. I rarely enjoy that these days. I’m sure to write a most impressive comedy-drama film one of these days even if I’m paying a ghost writer to do it for me! (Which seems to be the norm of writers I know on Amazon). Hmmm…Likely not.

      October 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm

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