Transcript for the Piece Audio version of When the Market Comes Home to Roost
Promo 22 seconds
Writing off the recent spike in prices and plunge in investments up to an expensive educational experience may be no laughing matter, but what other options are open? My name is Ted Magnuson and I too have been hard hit as the Market has come home to roost.
Text 4 minutes, 48 seconds
It snuck up on me on little cat feet, that sinister conspiracy of excess. I first suspected something might be up last summer while shopping for a new home, a smaller place for my wife and me, now that we?ve no kids at home. We found smaller allright? OK, at least the lots were smaller?about the size of a postage stamp. But the houses on those teeny tiny turfs bulged out, and in some cases cantilevered over the property line, a monstrous achievements of the building arts. 8,000 square feet of living space shoehorned into such tiny little confines! But c?mon--Do even intact families with 2.2 children need all that space? Where can a couple alone find a sweet little 2,000 or so square foot bungalow in a clean well kept neighborhood with?imagine?20 foot setbacks on both sides?
Perhaps, in an insidious plot to jack up prices on construction, builders and developers have taken their cues from restaurants. You know the kind of eatery I?m talking about, don?t you? That place with fancy monograms on the signboard out front where you drop a hundred dollars on portions big enough to satisfy the normal nutritional requirements of a week?s worth of eating? If the patrons of such places had any sense, they?d bring plastic tubs with tight snap lids in with them to cart off the excess instead of actually eating it all right then and there.
Not to worry, though. Can anyone still afford to go out to eat? When the price of gas shot northward of $4.00, I knew it was time breakout my old Crockpot, soak my own beans and shop for tip steak on sale. What? Gas prices have receded, you say? Don?t be consoled. The shark has attacked once and it is out there still; lurking. Just look how now every gas stations has an electronic price and they know how to use them. Look too, to the used Hummers lining the boulevards leading to the freeways. Go ahead, stop and look at one of these monstrosities. Bargains abound. One could even be your new home. The placard in the window of the one I bought said ?If you can fill it, you can have it.? Yes, it?s true, I got caught in the adjustable rate mortgage blow up. The Federal Government may now owns my house, for all I know. Talk about a triple play. First the interest on my adjustable rate mortgage shoots up 4%, then gas spikes 50% in less than a year. Now my 401K has dropped to a 201K, thanks to the stock market?s recent tumble.
Is this what it takes to get us all to taper down on our portions? Is this what it takes to get us all wise? Sure, I could have bought a smaller home if one were available; I could have eaten less at the restaurant too, if portions were smaller. I could have made better investments; I didn?t need last year?s 36% gain in that old Russia fund that promptly dropped 60% once I got in it.
Don?t get me wrong, I don?t ask for much. Although a rock sold 14% return on the remains of my nest egg would be nice. Honestly, now I have tapered my appetites. I?ll be back. Until then, can anyone recommend a quiet, safe, well lit parking lot where I can park my Hummer home for preferably only a few months?