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ChrisGraley (30.25)

Any young and poor fools out there?

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October 14, 2009 – Comments (41)

I'd like to give you some advice that I wish I had received at your age.

 

I'm going to give you the best investment advice that I can give you. Investing in yourself.

 

I'm going to give a plan of action that will make you rich and successful and allow you to retire at the age of 38 at the latest (if you are 18), if you want to. You can start with absolutely no money and this plan will actually work better for you if you come from a background of being poor. With out further ado, lets get to the plan.

First lets talk about your age. If you are younger than 17, you have a chance to get a head start, but this plan will work for anyone between 18 and 25. It will actually work if you are older than 25, but by that time we usually lack the motivation to accomplish this plan.

If you are younger than 17, your headstart is to get good grades in school and save as much money as you can. If the market is bad, invest whatever you can in the S&P 500 and if the market is booming, invest what you can in precious metals.

Once you hit 17, assess your chances for a college scholarship. If you hit 17 and think those chances are zero, join the military in the split option program. Try to pick a job that is desired in the civilian market if you can, but really pick a job that interests you above all else. If you think your chances of a scholarship are good, I'd like you to look into a ROTC scholarship in the military. Talk to a military recruiter and find out your options. If you miss out on a military scholarship, but can get a scholarship from another route, that is fine as well. If you miss out out on all scholarship chances, join the military.

OK, whether or not you went to college, the plan here is to join the military. You are either joining as an officer or an enlisted man. If you are joining as an officer, you have an advantage. Why the military? Because it gives you the greatest chance of living below your means. You get 3 square meals a day, a place to sleep, free health care, free education, ect.. You want to maximize this as much as you can. Frugality is the key to making everything else work! If you are committed, you can easily save 90% of your annual income to invest. Obviously, 90% of your income can only be saved if you are still single and without a family, but you will still be able to invest a lot more than the average person with your income, if you have a family. If you are able to save 90% of your income and never gain above the rank of E1, you should still be able to save about $120,000 in the first eight years. That is without that 10% annual interest that you should make with decent investments. You should have at least $250,000 at this point if you include interest. You will gain rank though, if you are commited. To give you an example, I made the rank of E2 at the end of Basic Training when I was still 17. I was E5 within 4 years. It's harder to gain rank as an officer, but even if you stayed an O1 for 8 years (won't happen unless you screw up) you would have $250,000 before interest and about $500,000 after. This is counting the bonuses that you get for re-enlisting. Hopefully you have been using the last 8 years to maximize your education as well. Ok at this point, you could theoretically live of the interest you are making. Not comfortably for the E1, but he is realistically at least an E5 by now  and even if he was still an E1, lots of people live off of less than $25,000 a year.

Now is the time for a big decision. You have to decide whether or not you are better off in the civilian market at around year 8. Unless what you would make in income is double of that in the military, I would stay in the military, but this is an individual choice. You are now about 26 years old and if you've spent the last 8 years well, you are in great health and have a good education. If you've spent them really well, as an enlisted man, you may have just finished officer candidate school. If you choose the civilian route, you should try to live off of 50% of your income. If you choose the military route, try to stick to the 90% plan, but after 8 years, I wouldn't fault you for switching to a 75% plan. In either choice if, you continue in frugality and investment, you will succeed.

For those of you that continue the military plan, you can retire at the age of 38 with a miltary pension and have enough time to retire in a second career after that. If you stick to the plan until retirement though, you won't need the second career. If choose the civilian route, you could put 30 years in after the miltary and retire at the age 56 and live quite comfortably from your civilian job.

The whole trick is pretty simple. You are just taking advantage of the compounding of interest. Did I follow this plan? No. I was young and stupid and although I did join and succeed in the military, I was a bit too wild to take advantage of the opportunities that it offered. It didn't take me long after leaving the military to straighten out and realize the opportunities that I missed. I'd like to think that I have succeeded in life, and I could retire today at the age of 40 if I wanted to. I'm pretty sure that if I followed this plan, I would have retired at least a decade ago, with at least twice the amount of money that I have now.

The last thing I want to post about tonight is the reason that I posted this thread to begin with. I've seen a lot posted by younger fools that use the arguement "You don't understand what it's like being poor!" Actually I do. My entire childhood was the 70's and early 80's. Inflation was rampant and my dad had a 10th grade education and a family of 5. I will never be able to compete with that man's work ethic, but as you can imagine, he struggled to put food on the table. He worked multiple jobs and sometimes 2 or 3 jobs at the same time. Jobs were short lived at that time, but if dad lost a job 1 day, he was out applying for another one the next. I had very little as a kid, but I was overall pretty happy. It's funny, but I think that when you have less, you appreciate what you have more. I had parents that might not have been successful, but were better parents than most kids had.

So, if you are a young fool, tired of being poor, here's your chance. This will work if you commit to it. You can fault me for not practicing what I preach if you want to, but I'm looking at it as giving you a chance to learn from my mistakes. It will be whatever you put into it. The most important truth in life to learn is that people that say they are victims are never in control of their own destiny.

As always, I hope that this helps,

Chris

 

 

41 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 14, 2009 at 12:40 AM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

Chris, youth is wasted on the young. Hell, they never listen anyway, lol.

 

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#2) On October 14, 2009 at 12:41 AM, catoismymotor (38.90) wrote:

+ 1 Rec.

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#3) On October 14, 2009 at 2:44 AM, ozzfan1317 (81.83) wrote:

I wish I had read this when I was still in the service...lol..I should have saved more looking back but I have a decent start. Its true if you grow up poor the military can be a great stepping stone. +1 Rec

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#4) On October 14, 2009 at 2:46 AM, ozzfan1317 (81.83) wrote:

I only served 4 years myself but it helped pay for college and the experience not to mention the free travel will always be with me..lol

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#5) On October 14, 2009 at 3:08 AM, checklist34 (99.73) wrote:

Chris, this is fantastic, absolutely fantastic. 

we have, in america, the power to live or as you offer the power to retire very young.

I am undisciplinable, I am unmanageable, I am unemployable, and I hav eat times been told I am undateable (i've also had a fair # of old gfs come back to tell me i'm a rleatively nice guy and say they'd like to date again.  I never agree).  I couldn't make it in the military, i'd get in a fight with my sarge at basic and get kicked out before I got in.  

So for me it was failing with many businesses wracking up many 100's of thousands of dollars of debt, living in agonizing chite and eventually winning big.  There's really no other path that would make sense for someone as unsensical as me.  

What I'm trying to say is, this path is not for everybody.  But lordy its a GREAT post.  

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#6) On October 14, 2009 at 6:34 AM, JibJabs (94.32) wrote:

I appreciate your insight, but there is absolutely no way I would ever join the military. Zip. Zero chance. I do not want to kill on someone else's order, particularly when my likely deployment would be to fight a war I never supported.

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#7) On October 14, 2009 at 7:49 AM, Sozurmama (22.04) wrote:

I completely agree save one thing...i really dont think we need more people spending their lives in the military. I definitely agree that a military is needed for defense purposes, and everyone would learn something from serving a few years, but sadly the military doesnt PRODUCE anything. If everyone joins the military and stays in, where does the money come from to pay their salaries (not that we have it now)? I see too many a**holes in the military that do NOTHING for society, and they get paid well for it.

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#8) On October 14, 2009 at 8:30 AM, ryanalexanderson (< 20) wrote:

I'm not a big fan of the military, as I think the last morally unambiguous military conflict was WW2, more than 60 years ago.

However, I'm a huge fan of having my employer pay my living costs. One other place for this is remote work in the commodity industry- oil roughnecks being the classic example. As well as being -slightly- less morally questionable, you're in an industry where you can buy into employer stocks, have definite inflation protection, and get paid pantloads more in general. 

Of course, there are many less remote commodity jobs than military jobs, but if you're going to sacrifice the comforts associated with most white-collar or blue-collar "city" jobs, you might as well go for top dollar. 

Nice post!

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#9) On October 14, 2009 at 8:31 AM, ryanalexanderson (< 20) wrote:

Sorry, that last paragraph parses oddly - I meant, there are fewer remote commodity jobs than military jobs.

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#10) On October 14, 2009 at 9:06 AM, russiangambit (29.49) wrote:

> I completely agree save one thing...i really dont think we need more people spending their lives in the military. I definitely agree that a military is needed for defense purposes, and everyone would learn something from serving a few years, but sadly the military doesnt PRODUCE anything.

That is what I was going to say too. We should cut on military spending. Yes, those in military get great benefits and a head start but they shouldn't be there in the first place. After all, it is out taxpayer dollars that pay for it.

I saw a recent statistic on the military spending - US is 48% of the whole world military spending ( at $700+ billion), China is at 8% and Russia is at 5%.  And that wasn't counting the extra spending on the wars in Iraq and Afganistan.

I think we need to reconsider our prioirties and cut the miliatry spending in half, we cannot afford it.

Look at Russia it spends practically nothing compared ot the US ( because it can't afford it), yet nobody attacks it even though so many people dislike it.US could easily protect itself at the half of the price, it needs to get the "police of the world" agenda out of the way.

Instead we should put the money saved on military spending towards college scholarship to give young people a head start.

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#11) On October 14, 2009 at 10:24 AM, hendrixcr23 (30.89) wrote:

It's a nice plan, but none of it matters if you are KIA (I do not mean any disrespect to veterans or fallen soldiers here. I have the utmost respect for this nation's warriors who defend people like me). 

 

The military is a nice way of living frugal, but when your life is said and done, who wants to look back and sum up their time on this earth with the term frugality.

 

Dont get me wrong, I believe it is very important to live within your means. However, People are always writing blogs and books about why young people should save all their money and put it all in the market so they get wonderful returns. You want to know why nobody does this? Because going to Panama City is a lot more fun than watching it from your couch, or in this case, going to Panama City, Florida is a lot more fun than going to Panama City, Panama. 

 

So, I should join the army, hoard my money and invest it. But for what? So I can retire at 45 and then die? Thats just not for me I guess 

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#12) On October 14, 2009 at 10:55 AM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

That is one helluva plan. Too bad very few (if any) college scholarships pay for the full tuition and board nowadays.

I would have liked to have followed this plan but I too much fun in my twenties chasing girls, drinking beer, traveling to Europe and Mexico with my friends, and going to concerts.

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#13) On October 14, 2009 at 11:11 AM, Counterparty (< 20) wrote:

Agreed, it's not one extreme or the other.

 As long as you live within your means and are able to save, invest, have an emergency fund, and have no other debt then the mortgage on your house, why would you not enjoy yourself.

And who in his right mind wants to be retired when you're still young and enjoy working. Better stay employed and build up a nice pension in the process. 

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#14) On October 14, 2009 at 11:35 AM, alexxlea (58.63) wrote:

This plan is good for those on the straight and narrow but, as has been mentioned here, most people would rather just enjoy their youth. I'm of the camp that youth IS to be squandered... and that's how it usual is. Youth wants to be rebellious by not doing anything, yet we want to change things, yet we just waste our time and efforts on non-things... and when youth matures it no longer cares to change the world, but rather just continue to look after its own, newly minted set of interests. Sigh.

I'm of the opinion that a military is necessary only for things like a ready disaster response force and peacekeeping in various nations. Expanded to the levels as the British once had and we have now a military so large is simply ridiculous.

All this talk about education just saddens me. We've proven that the world doesn't care, at least for a while, if we just create money. So why didn't we just create trillions of dollars and use that money to pay off all obligations on forward-looking enterprises that contribute to society, instead of sending it to the far reaches of the financial world to uphold our current system of slavery to debt? Oh yeah, because if they did, they wouldn't have the explicit support of the banks and governments of the world in papering over all of the money movement.

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#15) On October 14, 2009 at 12:10 PM, ozzfan1317 (81.83) wrote:

I respect all of your viewpoints and agree that the military isn't for everyone. However even though I did not agree with the Iraq war either sometimes you don't have any other choice. It is the beauty of a support branch you dont have to kill anyone and you still serve your country in a combat zone and get the benefits.

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#16) On October 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM, SkepticalOx (99.45) wrote:

#10, #14. You'd have to be naive to think that if several countries, especially the United States, started to de-militarize that everyone would just get along and hold hands. The reason why Americans, and for that matter, all their allies enjoy the lives they do is directly because America has the military they do protecting it (it is in America's interest to protect their allies, and in return, their allies can squander the money on inefficient welfare programs instead of a proper military). Other nations hell-bent on becoming a super-power would gladly replace the Americans and their "imperialism" and "interventionism" in a heartbeat if the Americans pulled back. Then they'll be pushing their ideals (which you probably like less than what you have now) on the world.

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#17) On October 14, 2009 at 12:18 PM, jddubya (61.66) wrote:

#12 - Agree completely.  I've been there, and even in hindsight I wouldn't have done it any other way (although sometimes I do think "what if" I had stayed for 20).  This blog outlines a great plan, but at the age of 17 or 18 you'll be lucky to find anyone disciplined enough to follow it.

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#18) On October 14, 2009 at 12:22 PM, jddubya (61.66) wrote:

Oh... one other unrelated mention - ChrisGraley, your avatar being the same as Alstrydummas has caused me to blow past a couple of your comments and blogs - I'm just sayin'....

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#19) On October 14, 2009 at 12:36 PM, russiangambit (29.49) wrote:

> #10, #14. You'd have to be naive to think that if several countries, especially the United States, started to de-militarize that everyone would just get along and hold hands.

The US spends on its military as much as the rest of the world combined. There will be no threat to the US military superiority if the spend was cut by 20%. Right now it is not about how much more weapons US gets it is about not allowing the existing weapons in the wrong hands.

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#20) On October 14, 2009 at 12:48 PM, miteycasey (35.10) wrote:

great post!

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#21) On October 14, 2009 at 12:50 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

Oh... one other unrelated mention - ChrisGraley, your avatar being the same as Alstrydummas has caused me to blow past a couple of your comments and blogs - I'm just sayin'....

I have actually started to cringe at that avatar as well.  Anyway, nice post!

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#22) On October 14, 2009 at 12:54 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

Thanks for all the comments.

I don't think that this plan is for everyone, and it takes a lot of discipline.

The young person that thinks he/she doesn't have any chances in life does have at least one though. This will work if you are determined.

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#23) On October 14, 2009 at 2:20 PM, alexpaz (29.23) wrote:

If you have to join the military, I would say Coast Guard all the way! Do 4 years, get some college done for 100% free while in your using Tuition Assistance. Get out, use your GI bill to finish your degree. Then you will have the chance to go back in as an Officer or get a nice Gov. job :)....Well that is my plan, so far so good!

 

Semper Paratus 

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#24) On October 14, 2009 at 3:26 PM, chrisrcooper (< 20) wrote:

Chris and others,

I'm a young fool, but not quite poor.  I have a BA in Communication and working on a BS in Engineering (just began).  I operate two IT-related businesses that I started that are both modestly successful (enough to pay the bills and keep me in school) and previously worked full-time as a Web Designer/Developer.  I'm in good physical condition and quite active, but the closest thing I have to military experience is a fairly hardcore fraternity in college (lead by then marines constantly getting shipped off to the mid-east) and I volunteered with the Peace Corps.  I'm 25.  I have a modest nest-egg of about $40k saved up that has been rolling around with the market since October 2007 (bought the top!).

I've always been interested in the military but wouldn't know where to start in the way of Officer training. From your experience, what's the best branch for a technical (IT) officer?  Advice?  Always searching for more of those wonderful clues to life...

Cheers!

-Chris 

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#25) On October 14, 2009 at 5:27 PM, KamranatUCLA (29.20) wrote:

The worst blog and advice EVER!

Kids  don't listen to this numbnuts. The reason:

I am 38 and I did everthing this idiot says and I'm still poor.

Military is the worst place you can go, unless you like to be someone's bitch. Military is about following orders, basically being someone's bitch.

Once you leave military you are so disconnected from Civiila life that you won't know where to start.

Chris, you are truely an idiot!!!

If going to military is such a good thing, how come 90% of homeless people (according to recent University of Denver research) are military, ex military people????!!!!!?????!!!!!!!

Plus, not to mention you can be sent to a senseless war and come back with no legs or hands! And your familiy will suffer with you through all this!

Much like our society, only very very few...maybe a handfull enjoy the best of our military. Those are the rich guy's sons or daughters who graduate from west point or other high class military schools who end up being in charge, being pilots, capitans, etc...people who are good in putting other people's lives in danger.

Chris is one of these old guys who gladly sends young people to war while he sits in his comfortable home and writes blogs to deceive young minds.

If you are a young person reading this, which I think is highly not possible ( that shows you Mr. Chris how disconnected you are with our young, wonderfull population) the best thing you can do is NOT joining the military. Not only you will be poor and have mental issues, but even if you get to be rich one day ( 1 out of 1000000000000000 chance) you can't live with yourself because you know your job right now in military is killing innocent people.

This is not ww1 or ww2. Vietnam, Korea, and now Iraq and Afghanistan has been all about a dead-end mission that only makes the CEOs of defense company richer.

If you are young, start your own business. If you go to college stay away from Sociology, history, and other social sciences.

Study architecture, electrical, mechanical engineering, study biology, become a doctor or surgent, study genetics, study nano technology, study how computers are made, how things are made and how you can make them.

Just using stuff is not enough. Learn how things that you use everyday (like cars, computers, TVs, etc...) are made. Then you will be smarter, and you will realize how corporations are sucking the blood out of you.

I give you an example:

Few days ago I made my own soap. I used the best virgin olive oil and the best ingreidents to make the soap. It smells like I want and the quality is superb. Now I made about 24 bars of soap (which are bigger than your standard soap) and my cost came to half of what I would have paid at a supermarket to get the lowest quality soap that is made with cheapest oil (palm oil).

Now how come a person like me can make soap with high quality half the price of a factory made soap??!!

It made absolutly no sesne how a person could compete with a big factory considering they use the advantage of big scale production ( they pay pennies for oil and stuff). The only answer I could find was this: factories add too much profit that covers their CEO million dollar salery.

If you told someone in 1878 ( or whenever the Industrail revolution was taking place) in England that you could make soap cheaper at your home than a factory, people would laugh at you. But today this is a reality. This shows you how capitalism is manipulated by few people.

So yeah...I think this Chris guy is a recruiter and gets money from military...so ignore this imbecle.

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#26) On October 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM, rosemanjhk (57.02) wrote:

Both of my Uncles did pretty much what you outlined here - joined the Air Force at 18-19, and retired with twenty years, and started second carrers.  One is a lawyer, and the other a VP in a small company.  The military offers much discipline, and employers (I feel) will, all other things being equal, hire a veteran over a civilian, as they tend to be more disciplined.

But I have to also agree, that this advice, as sound as it is, is pretty much wasted on the youth of today.  Maybe the "Great Recession" will change things, as poor employment prospects and high college costs start to factor in....

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#27) On October 14, 2009 at 5:39 PM, KamranatUCLA (29.20) wrote:

# 11) Excelent post!!!!! I love you man...and guess what. I've been to panama city beach and I plan to live there.

I rather be poor and live in Panama city beach than being rich but responsible for killing innocent people or be killed myself.

I agree with many other bloggers. Since WWII we have engaged ourself in non ethical wars. We are occupiers, we are the bullies.

And as we all know bullies always end up as losers.

Like I said before...if military is soooooo good, how come 90% of homeless people are military people?????!!!!!???????!!!!!!

I guess Cat ate Chris's toung and he can't answer me!!!

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#28) On October 14, 2009 at 5:40 PM, aussieguy73160 (25.80) wrote:

I do agree with #26, being in the chAir Force is the way to go. Its the safest branch and the easiest to work in.

Being retired Army and now working with a lot of retired Air Force, I see the BIG difference in benefits, experiance and risk. 

So, the original post about being in the Military would be best suited as join the chAir Force, play video games, claim compo for a bad back from the chair, then work as a Govt contractor all the while collecting a nice retirement after 20 in the chAir. 

Thats how you get rich!!!

God Bless America!

 

 

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#29) On October 14, 2009 at 6:08 PM, Sozurmama (22.04) wrote:

If going to military is such a good thing, how come 90% of homeless people (according to recent University of Denver research) are military, ex military people????!!!!!?????!!!!!!!

People in the military ALWAYS have a paycheck coming. When you factor in that most people are near retarded, you get a large percentage of soldiers who never had to learn to save or budget. Im not saying people in the military have no financial sense, I save the majority of every paycheck, but i am confident in saying that MOST enlisted soldiers party away their paycheck, and buy 300 dollar sunto watches, and expensive vehicles. I imagine this lifestyle is difficult to maintain after you leave, and you cant find a well paying job shooting things.

It's too easy to get a government job and sit back and collect your paycheck. I'm an analyst, getting out in 2 1/2 months and have had several 100k plus job offers where i would do basically nothing. It's tempting, but the greatest thing i learned in the army is that our taxdollars are being flushed down the f**king toilet, and i dont want to be part of the problem anymore.

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#30) On October 14, 2009 at 6:09 PM, ReadEmAnWeep (81.12) wrote:

I am both young and poor.

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#31) On October 14, 2009 at 6:27 PM, caidencollett07 (29.28) wrote:

24 yr old/ college student/ 20hrs work a week/ $8000 porfolio

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#32) On October 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM, KamranatUCLA (29.20) wrote:

"If the market is bad, invest whatever you can in the S&P 500 and if the market is booming, invest what you can in precious metals."

The more I read your post the more I realize you are truely a retard. Are you like a depressed old person with no job who finds satisfaction of writing stupid posts thinking you matter in this world???

If the market is bad...if the market is good....

You idiot, the whole point is that no one can tell when market is good and market is bad!!!! When Dow was around 8000 people thought things were good and things get worst...even right now...is market good or Bad Mr. Genius???!!!!

hahahahaha  ur an idiot, get a life, do something positive...cook some food and give it to homeless people ( 90% of which are your ex military friends).

And 10 months ago when "markets were bad" (and we can only say that because in the last 10 months stocks have gone up, so only retrorespectivly you can say if market was bad or good) people were still buying gold and they did pretty good???!!!

So what kind of retarded advice are you giving young people you retarded old fart.

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#33) On October 14, 2009 at 8:44 PM, KamranatUCLA (29.20) wrote:

"If the market is bad, invest whatever you can in the S&P 500 and if the market is booming, invest what you can in precious metals."

The more I read your post the more I realize you are truely a retard. Are you like a depressed old person with no job who finds satisfaction of writing stupid posts thinking you matter in this world???

If the market is bad...if the market is good....

You idiot, the whole point is that no one can tell when market is good and market is bad!!!! When Dow was around 8000 people thought things were good and things get worst...even right now...is market good or Bad Mr. Genius???!!!!

hahahahaha  ur an idiot, get a life, do something positive...cook some food and give it to homeless people ( 90% of which are your ex military friends).

And 10 months ago when "markets were bad" (and we can only say that because in the last 10 months stocks have gone up, so only retrorespectivly you can say if market was bad or good) people were still buying gold and they did pretty good???!!!

So what kind of retarded advice are you giving young people you retarded old fart.

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#34) On October 14, 2009 at 9:04 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

chriscooper, in the IT field you would be in big demand with any of the branches. Take your pick.

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#35) On October 14, 2009 at 9:22 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

Kamarant, I'll try to respond with some restraint.

I am 38 and I did everthing this idiot says and I'm still poor.

If you saved 90% of your income for 8 years and invested it wisely and are still poor you have bigger issues than I can help with.

I guess Cat ate Chris's toung and he can't answer me!!!

I just checked in now and your first 2 posts were 2 minutes apart. Did you think I was sitting in this thread waiting for you to post?

Chris is one of these old guys who gladly sends young people to war while he sits in his comfortable home and writes blogs to deceive young minds.

I'm 2 years older than you are. If you read my post, you would see that I served in the Army as an enlisted man. 

 So yeah...I think this Chris guy is a recruiter and gets money from military...so ignore this imbecle.

I've been out of the Army for almost 20 years.

You idiot, the whole point is that no one can tell when market is good and market is bad!!!!

You may not know whether it's gonna go up or down. But if you don't know that the current econonmy is bad I don't know how to help you.

 So what kind of retarded advice are you giving young people you retarded old fart.

Again, I'm 2 years older than you are and I'll leave it up to the readers of this thread to decide who is more intelligent.

I did post that this plan isn't for everyone.

Some people join the military, some make soap.

 

 

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#36) On October 14, 2009 at 9:59 PM, alexxlea (58.63) wrote:

Few things.

Volunteer military is just dumb.

Other countries have 1-2 years conscription just fine. They wage wars accordingly, because they know that not just the poor have to go fight it. Lawmakers in other countries have to send their kids too.

What an idea. This fact is hard to argue against... the numbers and reasoning are pretty much all there.

Spending does not equal strength. Our air superiority is not what it's made out to be, and neither is our ground or naval superiority. We don't live in an age where conventional weapons get better the more expensive the toys get. Our ships can still get torpedoed, our tanks can get mined, and our troops can still get shot. The human cost of a war against anyone with a decently trained fighting force with semi-modern technology would be huge. We've lost thousands of lives in Afghanistan and Iraq... Russia, China, India, the Eurozone would be much deadlier threats in all-out combat. Expect something in the hundreds of millions of lives be lost in WW3, which following human nature and barring an alien invasion we have to fight against, will happen.

I'll just point out the most obvious part of this. It's unlikely that a poor kid who thinks they have no other options is going to be on the fool site checking out blogs to see advice regarding his own stock portfolio. It's much more likely they're already set on joining the military. And noble as the intent is, your blog is highly unlikely to reach the target audience here.

Anyways, I'm not trying to knock you guys' efforts to help, or personal beliefs on how invincible our military is, or whatever, just saying that the reality of it is way different then some have stated.

Also, 29, I don't like your attitude. I'm not going to mince my words. People like you sicken me. Your post just assumes that 100% of those people don't have mental illnesses resulting from the horrors of theatres of war. Are poor people poor because of their own doing, or because they live in a society of constrained flow of real capital where the rich only invest in the rich, and give debt to the poor, in an effort to stymie their want for real change and improvement to their lives? Take a guess.

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#37) On October 14, 2009 at 11:14 PM, truthisntstupid (94.09) wrote:

That simple?  I spent 3 years in the army, from age 17-20.  I joined in 1974 when I turned 17 to escape a S.O.B. of a stepfather.  I got out in 1977 when I was 20 and I was out 3 years, then around 1980 all the jobs started disappearing.  Determined NOT to go back in the army, I reentered military service in th navy.  More serious this time, since I now had a wife and child.  If I'd been single, there would have been no way I'd ever have gone back in the service, no matter what branch.  I did well the second time.  I made E6 in six years.  I figured with all that time invested, I was in for the duration.  First time was, just like someone above pointed out, one big party.  Second time I figured on staying, so I applied myself and made rank rapidly.  I was going up for Chief Petty Officer was I fell down a flight of steep metal steps on the USS Saipan.  Herniated disk, L-5 S-1.  They wouldn't let me stay in the service unless I got the surgery.  Having come from a family with numerous uncles that all had back trouble, I asked the Doc if it would ever get better naturally, since I knew there is NEVER just one back surgery.  You're good as new for some unknown time period, then there is always a need for a second one.  And eventually a third one.  Doc, he pulled the door closed and told me that what they do in the surgery is remove the disk material and fuse the vertibrae.  He also told me that the natural route involves that disk material wearing away over time, then excruciating pain for 2 or 3 years because of the bone-on-bone contact, and then the vertibrae on either side of the missing disk finally fuse naturally and the effect is the same...except there usually never is a need for the surgery that was avoided.  So that's the route I chose.  The Navy, they refused to allow me to finish my career.  I had just 8 years to go.  If I wasn't fit to go to sea, they reasoned, I couldn't stay in and finish my career.  Oh...did I neglect to mention that during my career so far up to that point I had a total of around 4 years training?  4 years at some of the best electronics training, sitting on my butt in schools on taxpayer money.  On my own time I also pursued more knowledge.  I also had a general class FCC license with ship radar endorsement.  Finally...all my training was on SHORE-BASED EQUIPMENT!!!!   They threw all that away.  Sure, young folks...by all means, go ahead.  Be all that you can be.  You'd be better off being it somewhere else, though.  Just my opinion and I think I earned it after twelve years active duty in two different branches of the military and two combat ribbons.  But what do I know?

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#38) On October 14, 2009 at 11:29 PM, russiangambit (29.49) wrote:

> Other countries have 1-2 years conscription just fine. They wage wars accordingly, because they know that not just the poor have to go fight it. Lawmakers in other countries have to send their kids too.

If we had a draft the wars in Iraq and Afganistan would've never happened, I am sure.

 

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#39) On October 15, 2009 at 1:24 AM, Persnicketyone (< 20) wrote:

Agreed, great post.  Military is definitely not for everyone.  I myself decided not to enlist when I was that age, I had some pretty good prospects going at the time. 

My brother-in-law on the other hand had nothing.  No steady job, no place of his own to live, no money, and no prospects.  Mostly it was not his fault.  Smart kid but was in a tough situation with some bad influences.  He choose to go the Military route and I can’t believe how well he’s doing.  He learning a trade that he would have never attempted.  He’s got steady pay, steady housing and he’s saving away for the future.

 

KamranatUCLA – your insane response to this blog drips of vitriol.  How can you call someone an idiot or imbecile (properly spelled – get a dictionary) for only suggesting a path in life for folks that may not have considered it.  I know why; your savage response screams of hatred for the military and of any war that it may have participated.  So 90% of our homeless folks are ex military huh?   Who’s the other 10%?  Probably the folks that created the report you mentioned..  You have a link to that report, please post link so we can read it.  

How about this quote from Project Homeless Connect at the University of Denver:

“Nationally, people who are homeless also have high rates of other background characteristics: 23% are veterans (compared to 13% of the general population)”

http://www.du.edu/homelessness/about-homelessness/index.html

Sort of a stretch for that 90% huh? I couldn’t find the “report” that you so easily referenced in the spew that came in the form of your post.

By the way, some of those “innocent” people that were killed in war that you mentioned, well I’ll let you in on a secret, some of them were not so innocent.

Overall, I don’t believe you’ll get rich following this plan and I don’t disagree with you totally on suggestions regarding the study of advanced topics such as electrical engineering as those have merit.  This plan however could be a great start for some folks.

Ultimately your rage smacks of confusion, on one hand you chastise the CEO and corporations as sucking the life out of us, but on the other hand you encourage learning and entrepreneurship which might not be possible in a society void of capitalism, free market, and well freedom in general.  Freedom provided by (according to you) those poor and with mental issues, military guys who (again according to you) kill innocent people.    

Oh and about the soap, what a great example.  The soap guys all get together and decide, let’s build a factory and make soap.  What for you ask?  Is it A) so we can give soap to the masses freely, B) so we can fulfill our ever-loving dream of just making soap, or could it be C) so we can make money?  I’ll give you a hint, it’s C.  And the only reason your on this site is to learn how to make money too, and well spew vomit.

To answer your question:  “Now how come a person like me can make soap with high quality half the price of a factory made soap??!!”

Because your someone’s bitch and he made you do it (according to you)??

Because you’re poor, mentally retarded and you’ve killed innocent people.  I mean (following your logic) you admitted that much in the third line of your post.

Go carve some shoes out of beach wood and then curse the shoe CEO’s for making too much money.

Your vomit inducing post is like cat shit, there are just enough nuggets of undigested truth to potentially sustain life, but the stink is too much to take... Report this comment
#40) On October 15, 2009 at 9:45 PM, buildgreen (< 20) wrote:

To the comment that the military produces nothing.. think again.. do you like the modern age of science you live in... then thank the military.. do you enjoy gps, internet and basically every thing you use today. Then thank DARPA. America uses the military to support a majority of our science for science sake research..Our military budget is huge.. but you need to look under the hood to figure out how and why it matters.. I guarantee you cut the military budget by your 50% and you will quickly loose the global technological edge that is the driving force of the american economy. 

 http://www.darpa.mil/

 

Our military has produced the best of our Americans. Service is to be aspired to.. to live life simply for self service is pathetic. 

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#41) On October 17, 2009 at 1:20 PM, ArgusPanoptes (26.52) wrote:

I just want to add that the "90%" of homeless people are veterans was proven false a long time ago.  Once they started fact checking those surveys, they found that the number was between 25 to 30%, nearly all being Vietnam Vets.

I'm 28 and when I was 24 I started borrowing money to rebuild the shell of an apartment building. That to me was more sensible as far as creating long term wealth. Although I knew nothing about the stock market, I inadvertantly protected a lot of money for my creditors (personal loans) by keeping it out of the market. The sword cuts both ways, but now that it has fallen I feel more comfortable with the market - and thats how i ended up here, I wanted to learn.

I could never make it in the military. My personality, temperament would never fly. I also couldn't get a job out of college, even being dean's list at a top 20 university. Even if i did it would carry no responsibility and I probably wouldn't thrive there either. To the young people out there, I say that sweat is a great way to build equity. It's sure-fire and you don't have to have a boss. I have been my own boss since I was 24 and I love it. Instead of building up a pension, I am building a collection of properties that produce cash flow. There are many styles of realizing the OP's essential point.

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