Easy Money

Easy Money

Maybe Our Parents Had it Right All Along

By Fred Wistow

March/April 2009

Once upon a time, in the '50s and '60s, we were told there were two kinds of people: there were the rich people (out there, somewhere) and then, well, us. The rich people lived on the other side of a fence. We couldn't see it, but we knew it was there. And we knew it was impregnable. If we studied hard and worked hard, we'd eventually become improved, wealthier versions of what we already were, but it was also clear, though unstated, that we'd never manage to get to the other side. It wasn't prejudice that would keep us in our place. It was just the way things were, a law of the universe: the land on the other side of the fence was promised to others.

As we became what are loosely called "adults," the culture evolved (or did it "devolve"?) and we began to put first our toes, then our feet, and, soon enough, what the hell, we bellyflopped our way into the previously forbidden realm of the stock market. With the help of a bull market fueled by speculation, frenzy, and, as we'd later learn, an enormous amount of smoke and mirrors, fraud, greed, and irresponsibility, one day we looked up and discovered, by God, we were getting rich!

We now had mutual fund portfolios. Mutual fund portfolios?!?!? Whoever heard of mutual fund portfolios? Once upon a time, the Kennedys and Rockefellers maybe, but now stocks and bonds had become as omnipresent in our lives as e-mail, and houses with values that made our net worth soar way beyond whatever we'd…

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Topic: Business of Therapy

Tags: money

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