Raising the Barr for saving money

Probably you have heard or read about Roseanne Barr’s tweet where she triggered a bunch of folks with her joke about Valerie Jarrett.

There was a time when people like Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Amy Schumer, and yes even Kathy Griffin could mock and ridicule public officials and no one would blink.

Instead, they’d laugh.


I think we’ve reached “peak snowflake”, to borrow a phrase from Bill Maher.

Jon Ronson (a journalist who has covered some of the more controversial stuff going on in the comedy scene) nailed it when he said:

“Nobody seems to be able to tell the difference between a racist joke and a liberal joke that comments on racism.”

Shots fired!

Why do I bring this up?

It reminds me of how people confuse saving, investing, and speculating and then get bent all out of shape about it.

Saving is something you do consistently (i.e. save money) with the goal of preserving the value of your wealth.

Investing is something you do where you have a reasonable expectation of growing your savings (appreciation) and generating an income (interest or dividends).

Speculation is where you buy something at one price with the hope you can sell it to someone else at a higher price.

The difference between investing and speculating is subtle.

With investing, you buy valuable businesses. With speculation, you’re only concerned about the price of something.

Most investors are actually speculators because they don’t really give two hoots about the companies they buy. Not just that, either… they don’t have a clue about what they’re buying. They just buy stocks or mutual funds with the hope they can sell them to someone else later. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but it’s gotten to a point where people can’t tell the difference between saving money, actual investing, and speculation.

In finance, this is called the “greater fool theory.” One fool buys something he doesn’t understand and then hopes to sell it to another (greater) fool later on for more money.

And round and round we go…

That’s not investing. And, really, you’re not saving money by doing that either. You’re mostly gambling.

And then there’s whole life insurance. It straddles the line of investing and saving money.

You cannot lose money in it. There’s a guaranteed growth rate. You own part of an insurance company so you’re entitled to a share of its profits, too.

And yet… it’s insurance. It removes the financial risk of accumulating a savings so you can take more risk elsewhere in your life.

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David Lewis, AKA The Rogue Agent, has been a life insurance agent since 2004, and has worked with some of the oldest and most respected mutual life insurance companies in the U.S. during that time. To learn more about him and his business, go here.