Stocks and Wands

The recession has magically turned me into a financial guru.

By Liz Spikol
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Nov. 26, 2008

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Meanwhile, if my boiler broke, I called my landlady and she fixed it. And I jauntily arrived at work, my money in the bank, well-slept and unworried.

The same pattern held for the stock market. Friends with investments had to pay attention to squiggly lines I could ignore. They got upset about them. They got elated. I could relate to their lability, but I take meds for that. I don't need to cultivate mood changes.

When this recession hit, I was devastated. But it slowly became clear that people were actually envious of me. By not owning anything and not having any investments, I had nothing to lose. Soon I was being congratulated on my foresight and life choices. No more pity. No more terror. I am now a model citizen whose only fault is owning part of a car.

And then there's the Gap card. Obviously, I must divest myself of that credit card and all others if I'm to live a truly paranoid, paralyzed, illness-inflected financial life. The life of a recession-proof genius, in other words.

So let the Gap break up with me. The last thing I need is another man sweater or garden gnome hat. I have new financial respectability to dress for.

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COMMENTS

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1. Patrick said... on Nov 26, 2008 at 08:56AM

“Liz...just curious...and trying not to be judgemental. I could never understand the illness but what are your plans for retirement? Is there a secret finacial saviour in your life? I wish no ill will just wandering what you will do at retirement age?”

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2. katharinec said... on Nov 26, 2008 at 09:42AM

“"Each moment of each day must be faced discretely in order to master it. A morning shower is a challenge. The trolley ride home is a trial. Warming up my lunch in the microwave is an Olympic feat. These moments loom heavy, like mental bad credit. Plans a week away can fill me with dread. The idea of next year is another planet." I can relate to that so well. Well put, Liz. Well effing put.”

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3. Tashamaria Tromer said... on Nov 26, 2008 at 09:42AM

“"Each moment of each day must be faced discretely in order to master it. A morning shower is a challenge. The trolley ride home is a trial. Warming up my lunch in the microwave is an Olympic feat. These moments loom heavy, like mental bad credit. Plans a week away can fill me with dread. The idea of next year is another planet." I can relate to that so well. Well put, Liz. Well effing put.”

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4. Tashamaria Tromer said... on Nov 26, 2008 at 01:17PM

“Hilarious and brilliant. I laughed til I cried. Like Liz, I know nada of 401Ks, stock ownership, etc. so this financial meltdown hasn't affected me all that much. Except for my lovely credit cards. No car, no fancy clothes. But then again, no health insurance either. The place that used to give it to me doesn't exist any more. Does anyone remember newspapers? But I do own a tiny little house and yes whatever great Russian said 'property is theft' sure knew his stuff. Smarter folks than me have written we can ride this baby out if we stay local and provide our services to each other. Mebbe that's true. Here's hopin.' ”

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5. Floyd said... on Nov 30, 2008 at 04:23AM

“Dear Ms. Spikol, As a Philly resident who relies on expensive psychiatric meds-and has bad credit-I think I can relate. In fact, I buzzed this blog entry believing I could learn some financial tactics for sorting out my life and getting on with it. With memories of a prosperous life (I used to have a 401(k) and a smokin' debt-to-income ratio) before recessions and PSZ, I understood that any income I earned in this new, crazy world (I work online) could fuel a Roth IRA-something you can put almost any kind of investment in. The difficulty, here and now, is surviving the moment. Too often, crapola occurs, such as running into the "unprotected" zone in prescription coverage, making it impossible to properly fuel our "golden years" savings. In one paragraph, you mention activities of daily living being, at the least, challenging. I'm curious as to what energy/focus-sapping things fo through your mind. In my case, it's a combination of fear, anger, and disgust-which I think are ingredients to financial chaos.”

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