Luxury is not befitting a fool;
much less should a slave rule over princes.– Proverbs 19:10
There was a man from the ghettos of Baltimore, md. All his life he struggled to get by and all he had to show for it was a typical ghetto run down house, living on food stamps, 4 kids from 3 different woman, and every now and then he’d make side money selling pot. One day he went to the grocery store and bought a lottery ticket. He came home sat the ticket aside, and about a week later he checked up on it to find he had just won the $300 million jackpot. So what does he do after he gets the check?
‘I can travel Europe now, live in High Class. I can buy yachts to sail around the world. I can get a Big house with a bathroom big enough to play football in, and get drinking fountains that run kool aid. I can get cars I can get woman. I’ll buy just about everything and anything I feel like.’
Indeed our friend does all these things and then some. He ate at the finest restaurants, He rented a private jet plane, Took his trip to Europe at some of the most prestigious hotels. Yes its true, money doesn’t buy happiness but its a very good start.
At a hotel in Prague a business conference just let out, and some of the people attending made their way to the bar, where our friend was sitting nursing a martini. These business men were not run of the mill just any business men, They owned Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott, Some were District Bank Executives, High profile Investors and even actors from Hollywood. Our friend found himself in a conversation with a Junior Executive Officer of Internal Affairs of the London Stock Exchange. (Well name this guy Sam).
Sam asks him, ‘Tell me how do you invest your money, what does your portfolio look like. I can see you are very successful coming to this hotel, I’ve always met only just the right people I can learn from’. Our friend; ‘I won the lottery a few months ago, I dont need to invest i’m set for life’. Sams smile drifted off his face; ‘I am very happy for your winnings but have you taken any consideration into Wealth Management or preservation. It’s easier to go bankrupt then stay wealthy.’ Our friend Laughs ‘Nah yo, I made 300 million dollars, I cant even spend all that in 3 life times even if I tried.’ Sam replied ‘I see, thats quite an earning, Id wager you could be right If I havnt seen so many companies and people before you with a lot more then just $300 million go bankrupt’. Our friend became inpatient with sam, How dare he judge him and compare him to those loosers. “What do you know, youre a slave to your boss and your suit, I’m free from all that- I don’t have to do a thing but enjoy my life doing what ever I feel like!!” Sam ‘I am terribly sorry if I offended you, I truly am, but I ask you consider what I’ve told you. I will leave you now, it was nice chatting.’
Eventually, our friend would come back to his hometown Baltimore after several months of traveling Europe. He rented the most expensive condo in Canton. He bought himself a Bugatti and a brand new Lotus. And while he had his fill of Europe he really was just glad to be in a place he could call home with all the familiar people and places. His friends were only about a mile down the road. His children were going to private schools and he was glad to see them, though he never really knew them even when he was poor. He took great pride in his things and the ability to take care of his kids and there baby mommas. He checked his bank account one day and scratched his head $104,583,284.83 was there. ‘What happened to 200 million dollars?’ he asked himself. ‘I did not think I spent that much in Europe’. In the back of his mind he thought to himself ‘I wasn’t really paying attention anyway maybe I really did spend that much, but oh well I’m settling down now it shouldn’t go down much further for a long time.’
He called his friends over to check out his house. He got all new furniture, hired an interior decorator, remolded a bit and well he missed them- so why not show all this off.
‘Oh man this place is SWEET yo, check this tv out. You push this button and the wall spins around.’ He told his friends. ‘Damnnn Brotha you makein quap like that son, is this sofa cashmere leather?’ He showed them every room, walking through all the bells and whistles. His friends never saw or knew what money could actually buy- they never even heard of a
credenza- much less one could cost $29k. The imported rare Italian red marble tiles in the kitchen, the Granite hot tub in the bedroom, The rug made from silk from wild silk worms and the petal of a flower that blooms only one night a year by moonlight…
All of these and many others certainly was very impressive. In the back of his mind he thought ‘I’m awesome arnt I, and these guys know it’
In the back of his friends minds, ‘How much is he willing to give me, I probably can “Borrow” that later, I am hanging out here all the time not my place’.
One of his friends (Jason) however had no such thought in his head ‘he is paying way too much to remodel a place he rents and does not own. This furniture is nice but there’s no intrinsic value to it, he will never get his money back at the price he paid. well maybe it doesn’t matter furniture and things you only buy once im sure eventually he’ll move or buy the place.’
A bit of time passed and our friend found himself getting phone calls all the time. ‘Can I get some money yo I need to pay this electric bill’ Or ‘I really need a car, just a crappy truck is fine’ or ‘My kid just got sent to jail man I need money for his lawyer’. Small requests for money here and there- atleast small enough compared to his bank so yeah why not give a little here and there to help. On the other phone line Jason called. ‘Thats nice your helping people, but why not get yourself a buisness, you could buy an office building and set something up with just 20 million- or hey even cheaper.’ Jason also told him ‘Check out this company on the stock exchange, they just paid off their debt and signed a deal selling their product internationally- Sounds like a rock solid investment maybe you should get in on it.’
Our friend here knew Jason was well intentioned, but honestly he didn’t feel like running a company, he didn’t understand the stock market and did not want to learn. He had plenty of money and just did not feel he could possibly want more. At the same time he felt guilty about being seen as Greedy. What he did not understand about what Jason was trying to tell him, was the same thing the guy in Prague was telling him. Jason had the feeling our friend was tossing his money away and needed some kind of asset for financial stability. Every time our friend told Jason no I dont want to do this or that -Jason would get frustrated with him, because he was always missing the point of what he was trying to get him to do.
Eventually, our friend got pretty tired of his friends coming over using his stuff and begging for money, he told them all to leave him alone except Jason. Jason was the one who did not ask for a thing for himself and obviously was a true friend. Jason, however was growing kinda annoyed trying to get him to invest or buy property so just kept his mouth shut about it. At the same time Jason was getting a little tired of this friend obsession with his stuff and didn’t want to talk to him much anymore anyway. While Jason was distancing himself from his friend, it only confirmed to him Jason was a true friend, and made it a point to keep him around. He was happy to take jason along on little trips with him, take him out to dinner, things friends do. Jason sure would go along with this and put in his half of the tab even though our friend insisted every bill was free.
One day our friend took his lotus out for a drive, He just wanted to go around the beltway and get out of the house. About 90 mph he was going when he got a text. He looked down it was one of his baby’s mommas she wanted him to pick up the kid from school because shes at work late tonight. He began typing ‘Yeah Sure’ when suddenly the car moved over into the shoulder where a guy with a broken down motorcycle was waiting for AAA to pick him up. BAAAM!! he plowed right into him. The motorcyclist would have to go to the ER, and later learn he was paralyzed from the waist down. Our friend felt horrible but feeling horrible would never give this guy his legs back. Thus began a legal battle between 2 insurance companies.
Our friends insurance only covered up to $100,000 of injury, and the motorcyclist doctor bills amounted to $40 million. The insurance lawyer advised our friend “Don’t worry, you dont have to pay out of pocket we see these cases all the time.” Our friend “What do you mean don’t worry I paralyzed a man, I can pay out of pocket I’d be glad to.” the lawyer told him “Listen, it’s like a game- Were trying to get his insurance to split the bill with your insurance, It’s not that he wont get his bill paid we just want to make sure we don’t get caught with the whole bill all by ourselves and negotiate it.” This angered our friend “How dare you play games like this with people, there’s a man hurt, I’m going down there right now with a check.” and so he did, he paid for everything and he felt better about himself for doing so. But there was a tiny tiny little problem, There was only $500k left in his bank after this check. He told Jason about it, again Jason told him cut expenses and invest in something. Our friend only heard the first part of this however.
He decided he was tired of Baltimore and wanted to live in the country. It was cheaper rent and utilities, $500k can go a long way in Tennessee. He downsized his cars and spending a bit and moved all his stuff down with him. The landlord in Baltimore was very surprised to learn her tenant had increased her resale value nearly 3000% and sold the condo immediately after he broke the lease. She wasn’t upset he just up and left in the least.
He found a nice place for only $400 a month, he did the math he could stay there without a job for 40 years. ‘I’ll probably be dead by then, no big deal’.
for the sake of speeding this story up Our friend indeed slowed way down on his spending, but it was only 2 years by the time he went from 300 million dollars to nothing at all. He found himself one day in such a precarious situation where the electric was shut off, his landlord was evicting him, and he only had enough left to get 1 uhaul truck to lug his stuff to anywhere but there. He had so much stuff, he needed 4 trucks. Needless to say he had 1 week left to figure out where to live- most of his stuff would have to be left behind, and he had 0 time to try and sell them. Frantic he called Jason asking to move in.
Jason opened up his doors, of course he could move in. Jason just bought his new house, didn’t have much furniture in it, so there was plenty of room to fit our friends stuff. There was of course the trouble of money. However, Jason realized this and made the agreement all our friend would have to do is help keep the house clean and do some light yard work in exchange for rent. Jason knew at this point his friend had plenty integrity while he had money, Perfectly honest guy then but It was easier then… Now our friend was broke, had no interest in getting a job, did not care for much else but himself. Jason knew from the start if he let our friend stay, no strings attached, he would be taken advantage of. He wanted our friend to do a little something so he would not get too comfortable.
Indeed Jason was right, our friend just laid around all day let the dishes pile up (his dishes) and expected Jason to clean it. For months people would come over to see our friend and complain how filthy the house was, Jason overheard our friend say ‘Oh it’s all Jason’s mess he refuses to clean.’ Jason’s patience ran thin and he put his foot down. He walked into our friends room, handed him a broom and told him. ‘Listen you have been living here for free and all you’ve done is triple my electric bill, mess up my house, Let my cat out and shes been missing since- I dont give a shit youre broke anymore, Keep up your end of the deal or move out tomorrow.’ Our friend realizing his place said ‘Ok, ill clean a bit but im moving anyway, this house is too small and I don’t like it anyway so.’
Indeed our friend did, he moved into a girlfriends house… whom also got tired of takeing care of him. She did not want to toss him in the street and decided to get a hold of Jason again. And for a second time Jason said, ok but this time I want some cash for rent- last time he was here he ran up my bills, all I ask is he pays enough to make up the difference. Our friend got a job at the dollar store, indeed for 8 months he held up his end and eventually moved out again on his own. After telling people again what a slob Jason was, how cruel he was that he charged him rent when he’s his best friend. Jason grew very tired of this slander, and as he was packing his stuff up jason told him; “This is the last time. I tried to help you when you were rich, im trying to help you when your poor. you come into my house insulting me, make a mess of everything, and clearly lack any respect for me. Don’t come back.”
A few years would pass when our friend would find himself at a homeless shelter. He’d cry himself to sleep every night on a cot issued to him, in a room of 45 people or so. He told his story to another homeless man one day from his own point of view. How he was a victim of the world and all that money just slipped away and it wasnt even his fault.- the Homeless man said something that our friend was finally wise enough to hear;
‘It’s hard to feel bad for an idiot, Dont tell me through all this you went bankrupt and ended up here without someone trying to help you. Dont tell me you did not have the time or money to build some kind of business or at least go to college. You tell me this story asking for a pitty party, and im a side more tempted your lieing through your teeth. Let me tell you that mans story, or this guys tale, let me tell you my own story. My guess, you’re impulsive, irresponsible, lazy and selfish thats why you’re here.’
I give you this parable because everyone says I want to be rich so I can buy this and that. Everyone says, I want to make a ton of money without having to do anything. What might be a surprise to many people- this parable is actually loosely based on a true story from an actual friend of mine who went through an 80 million dollar inheritance inside of just about 2 years. Let me guess, If you won the lottery or money like that you would never be this stupid? I know, I know the good little christian or Miss. America response “If I had that much money I would donate it all to charity”, Lets be real can we? Indeed everyone who does win the lottery says this and that, and 99.5% go broke within 5 years, for all these reasons and more. Then again I could also point to the many revolving door rap artist and celebrities in just say the past 20 years.No no no, this isnt you though… Really why not? In all this time have you even googled the term Wealth Preservation or Wealth Management?
On another thing, I think about it, I’ve heard many tell successful CEO’s alot like sam how rich they are, and selfish they dont give more to them and the ‘little people’. Everytime I heard this said to the right CEO they say “I worked hard, managed my money, set goals for myself, built my business and career starting as a paperboy. You could do the same if you put your mind to it and were willing to put forth the effort.” The thing about a lot of the worlds wealthiest people and businesses is they are not all selfish and pampas. Amazingly, a lot of them really do try to help ‘the little people’ noticably more then any in the world Americans wealthy elite. The fact is, they also try to help themselves. How good are they for hand outs if they don’t try themselves to stay wealthy? How foolish do they have to be to know hard work and dedication can go a long way verse just handing someone a $100,000? The parable is
this. Wealth Management is a boring topic. No one says ‘I want to win the lottery so I can open an IRA account, and create a balanced multi-industry portfolio with a cap return of 3.8%.’ Trust me, it takes a certain kind of dull to be that boring.
The bible tells us Luxury is not fitting for a fool- the reason is a fool has no interest in even taking the first step in learning what to do with it. The Bible also tells us Slaves have no place ruling over Princes, The reason being most people don’t know how to manage themselves and those beneath them with a certain balance to begin with. A slave can only become either a fool serving the masses with everything they ask for, only to loose everything and destroy
himself and those beneath him. Or a vicious tyrant unwilling to budge on anything but his own interest, usually ending with a peasant riot and having his head cut off. Both these outcomes come from having no concept of the responsibility he really has been given or the wisdom to deal with it. Pray my friends to be blessed with money, more importantly to be wise with what to do with it. Should you find yourself content in middle class or even poor, pray for the wisdom to maintain that life style. The truth about money is, It flows like water in a very literal but esoteric way, if you do nothing with it- it will pour out of your hand through the cracks of your fingers, while you blindfold yourself.
If for some reason the message of this tale does’nt sink in. Britney Spears has an important announcement to make I’d like to share with you.