A few decades back, someone driving a fancy car, wearing a fancy watch and decked out in expensive clothes might have been thought of as someone who was financially successful. And they might have been. However, today, it seems to me that many folks strutting their stuff in luxury goods are probably close to insolvency.
Go back to the middle of the 20th century. At that time, I suspect a greater percentage of the people driving luxury automobiles and wearing fancy clothing were able to do so because they were actually wealthy. Fast forward 70 years and lots of folks have fancy cars, toys and clothes because of relatively easy credit. Yet they have no significant wealth to speak of.
I am under no nostalgic illusions about the good old days. I am sure that years ago, many people were profligate spenders, who lived way beyond their means. I am also sure that some of those same people liked to bedeck themselves with the trappings of wealth without having built wealth.
However, the advent and widespread use of automobile financing and leases, retail credit, credit cards, home equity loans, etc. have lent (pun intended) the average individual a much greater ability to indulge in destructive financial behavior.
I am not sitting here longing for the good old days. As Billy Joel sang, “the good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” In fact, I believe our best days are ahead of us, as individuals and as a society. This, of course, depends on us waking up and realizing that to live our dreams we need to plan for our dreams.
Too many people go for the quick fix leading to immediate gratification and grab some symbols of wealth – like a luxury vehicle – without having actually built wealth. Instead of a dream, this often becomes a waking nightmare of grinding lack and need.
People who get sucked into using credit to create the illusion of wealth ultimately do not live their dreams. Instead, they become slaves to their own worst impulses.
Live your dreams by planning for them. You might want to work with a financial services professional whom you trust, to help make that happen.
Scott R. McGimpsey August 10th, 2018
This material was prepared by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Neither Summit Brokerage Services Inc. nor Scott McGimpsey is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionally services. If such assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal, state, or municipal tax penalty. Moreover, a diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or assure protection against loss in a declining market. UNIFIED PLANNING GROUP is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC