Who’s Eating My Pies ?
Through many years of hard work and sacrifice, living as a poor man even through prosperous times, I ended up saving away quite a bit of money through out my working life. In order to save money, I forced myself to give up on on many luxuries, and one of the things I gave up, that I will be using for an example in this article, was pies. I love pies, but have not bought one over a decade, they may be inexpensive where you come from, but for me they were the cost of two-three meals, and did not have enough value for me to keep spending on them.
About six years ago, being forced to move and sell my home, I decided to take the savings and invest where the news, my peers, and the banks, all told me to, mutual funds. I was told through no additional work on my part, that I would double my money in about five years, it sounded like a great idea. I did some research, took the Bank’s Investment Manager’s advice, and signed some papers.
I thought I was so smart, by resisting buying myself a pie that day, and waiting five years, I would then be able to buy two of them. I thought that was great, after all I was only 34, I should still be alive at 40 and get to eat my two pies right?
Now that it has been five years, and the bank said at this point my money would have doubled, you would think I could get my two pies now right? Believe it or not, somehow I am only stuck with about halve of a pie. Not only has my money gone down, but inflation has been going up. I had invested in funds containing only blue chip companies, and they had used my money to help turn record profits over the last five years, so it is a bit strange to me that I should actually be losing money. Did I not invest in a company? Should it’s profits not be my profits? Something is wrong here, I understand about the stock market fluctuating up and down with demand for the stock, but where did my share of the profit go? Why on earth do I invest in companies, if during times of profits, I somehow actually lose money?! The market is down about 11% since I bought, but my mutual funds are actually down more? How is this possible? Do all those little electronic transfers from my bank to the investment really take so much manpower, hard work, and energy that it needs so much of my money just to pay for itself?
Should I eat this part of a pie now before it is all gone, wait and be satisfied once my whole pie has been returned to me, or hold out for the two pies that I was already supposed to have by now? If the banks lived up to their promises, in another five years, all things being even, I should actually have four pies. I no longer believe that even two pies are possible anymore, I mean with the record profits of the last five years, and me losing money, is there really any hope for the future?
Money does not disappear, it only moves around, my money was not sucked into a black hole and erased, it moved from my bank account, into others.
Due to the large bonuses corporations are paying themselves, as well as stock traders, mutual fund managers, bankers, and all the other “professionals” that are involved in my supposed “Wealth Management” actually get to not only use my money, and keep all my profits, but if I sold them today, also about 30% of my initial investment! Amazing isn’t it !
Buying into mutual funds is not supposed to be gambling, it is supposed to be an investment, you give your money to investment groups, who put your money into actual corporations to help them grow, and after they grow, they are supposed to give a share of the profits back to you. Of course if they lose money, you lose money, but recently as they make money, you lose money!!
Rather than the dream pictures the banks paint you of Mutual Fund investments, let’s have a look at an example of something a bit closer to reality. Have a look at a short clip from South Park below.
I can hear you all screaming at me now, that when the stocks go up, so will my investments, I hear you, but it is not proportionate to the inflation or the profits the companies have earned. There is too much wealth being absorbed by the people at the top, and virtually nothing trickles down to the investor anymore. Mutual Funds seem to be broken, and if my full pie ever returns, I will be investing either directly in high dividend stocks, property, or most likely my own company.
A friend of mine has no savings at all, he never has, he eats his pies every time he gets enough money to buy one. I used to tell him he should save his money, and get more pies in the future. Now though I am having a good look at myself here. I have not afforded myself a pie in about fifteen years, I should be able to afford rooms full of them now and eat until I explode from them, but I cant. I can see now that I am the fool, to be taken in by such a massive scam.
I understand why people are currently protesting all over the western world about the financial situation, most of them can’t quite put their finger on why employment is so low, crime is up, investments have shriveled up, inheritances have disappeared as some people have not just lost their jobs, but also their homes. The rich have gotten so wealthy, and the middle class are disappearing. Something is wrong.
All the savers of the world, the newly poor, and all their families, should be chanting out on in front of the Banking and Business Capitals of the World. “Who’s eating my pies?” because we all know that somebody is.