Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Free Advice

Note: This should be “subscriber level” content, but since I am feeling generous, I am offering this advice free of charge. Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you’re like me, you always find yourself in a lose-lose situation. You lose if, to cover up forgetting, you treat it like a Hallmark-created holiday and proclaim to your sweetheart that every day is Valentine’s Day. You lose if you buy a dozen roses because you get chastised for spending money on such a fleeting gift. You lose if you go the lingerie route because it confirms you have a one-track mind. Since it is a no-win, may I suggest the lesser of all evils? Stay away from jewelry. I’m not talking about the earrings from Wal-mart or the handmade bead stuff that you buy from your co-worker out of sympathy. I’m talking diamonds, gold and precious gems. I was at the mall one day by myself and for some unknown reason decided, or was moved by some harmonic force, to pause at a jewelry store. The clerk must have been bored out of his skull and saw me as a sort of savior from his franchised prison. Despite the, “I’m just looking” excuse, he must have interpreted my words as “I’m here with wads of cash and I need to spend it in your store right now.” I also must have fit the profile in the training manual that indicates I had been married a few years since he was very eager to point out the Special Limited Edition Anniversary Band. His description of color and clarity and a few other “C” words was over my head. But I took note when he said, “A ring like this is great investment. It will only increase in value.” Now I wasn’t born yesterday, though my wife would argue otherwise, I didn’t fall for the investment line. That’s a load of crap. And here’s why. No self respecting woman in her Golden Years is going to say, “Honey, lets trade in that diamond ring for a new Harley.” It ain’t gonna happen. That ring you gave her that cost you a grand may have appreciated twenty times, but its always going to stay in the family. You’re not going to see any profit from that “investment.” So here’s my advice. If you’re really serious about an investment, put your money in a mutual fund marked “Motorcycle” and say your prayers.

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