Broker Check


September 30, 2021

“Invert. Always invert.”

                                                                                                            Carl Jacobi

We all need a good suit. Man or woman, elder or child, no one should have to live without a good suit. It should be custom made, of course, and cut from a bolt of the finest fabric.

People of taste know there will be at least three fittings over the course of several weeks. A life changing suit of this quality does not tailor itself, after all.

Your suit should be made by a well-known establishment in a high rent district; Fifth Avenue, if you live in the New York Metropolitan area as I do.

You will enjoy a glass of wine or artisanal beer they serve, as you endure the tedious but worthwhile fitting process. How regal you will look. People will remark on your sartorial splendor, at once.

If you are going to have a suit this good, we must pair it with a shirt and shoes that are its equal. Luckily, the tailor making your suit will be happy to cut you a shirt as well.

As for footwear, there are several prestigious British shoemakers. They will make a plaster cast of your foot, ensuring a perfect fit. The fine, oiled, leather will be supple and lustrous. You will wonder how you ever lived without them.

These days, our new threads, the suit, shirt, and shoes, will likely put us out around $10,000, perhaps more. But what of it? We must treat ourselves and ten thousand dollars is a small price to pay, since we only live once.

Flowing from this, since our children are smaller, their suits will cost substantially less. Perhaps only $4000-5000 for the whole kit. We must not skimp on our children. They are our billboards and bridges to immortality, after all.

And what will we do with our fine new finery? Wear it, of course. Or anyway, just keep it in our closet as a testament to our class and good taste. Whatever. We will know it is there and what it says about us even if no one else does.

If you know me, or have read any of my past blog posts, you already know this is satire; a joke bordering on personal heresy. But it can also be instructive by way of inversion.

Most people want to be financially secure. If they are already financially secure, they probably would not mind being wealthy. The more access to resources we have the further away from lack we are. We can also do more cool stuff with and for our loved ones. In the main, money makes life more pleasant and less stressful.

I do not have all the answers on how to make everyone happy. I believe there are a virtually unlimited number of paths to fulfilment in life. I can, however, provide some insight on how to achieve certain misery. Overspend your income.

As Charlie Munger pointed out in his excellent book “Poor Charlie’s Almanac,” one of the most talented humans who ever lived was often unhappy and died young. One of the reasons for his unhappiness was that he chronically overspent his income. That man was Mozart and if he could not manage it, we should not try.

If you follow the advice above for your new suit and apply those same principles to every other purchase you make, you will be well on your way to misery. This is easy to do, since shiny news things give us momentary pleasure - the illusion of real happiness.

In no time at all, folks who would otherwise be wealthy will be only financially secure (for now) and those who should be secure will just be scraping by.

If, on the other hand, you choose wisely to invert this advice, consider speaking with a financial planner you trust to help build and protect your wealth and eliminate a common source of unhappiness. It is my sincere wish that all those who read this choose happiness.

Scott R. McGimpsey September 30, 2021 

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 Cetera Advisor Networks LLC 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.