18 October 2006

Variety Pack 002

GOOD LEADERSHIP: According to Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, all you need to know about investing can be summed up in 129 words:

1. Make a will

2. Pay off your credit cards

3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support

4. Fund your 401k to the maximum

5. Fund your IRA to the maximum

6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it

7. Put six months' worth of expenses in a money-market account

8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement

9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio.

Quoting Guinness Beer: Brilliant! In Puerto Rico, We can bring it down to 126 because making a will here is a waste of time, what with forced estate sharing and the like. But imagine following these simple rules and actually making money instead of spending it like some demented monkey. I'll allow The Master to cap this off:

"Everything else you may want to do with your money is a bad idea compared to what's on my one-page summary. You want an annuity? It's worse. You want a whole life insurance policy? It's worse. You want to invest in individual stocks? It's worse. You want a managed mutual fund instead of an index fund? It's worse. I could go on, but you get the point."

BAD LEADERSHIP: Radar Online ranks the Ten Dumbest People in Congress, actually using the word "fools" in the subtitle. I'm flattered and I'm thinking of suing. Why don't you drop by the list and learn about crass stupidity? Here's an incentive: There's a Schmidt on the list!! Go wild!!

BAD LEADERSHIP: The list of the Stupidest People in Our legislature is quite short:

1. Stupid Rosselló.

2. A 77-way tie for third place. (Oh, the irony!)

GOOD LEADERSHIP: The Jenius ranks first in the following Google searches:

*** what problem can a person face by becoming rich overnight (Uh? You askin' Me?!)

*** Jenius Ventures (Hey, I guess I DO know somethin'...)

*** psychiatrists conclusion Al Capone was a moron on their evaluation forms (I wonder where they were buried when Al found out...)

GOOD LEADERSHIP: I read this somewhere and it's been bugging Me to include it here; I don't know why:

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim quickly he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and getting to the patient within 3 hours, which is tough. Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. But doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

1) Ask the individual to SMILE.
2) Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
3) Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently, ie: It is sunny out today)

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

In this day and age of reduced health services and decreasing quality, maybe this information will be useful to one of you or your loved ones.

Then again, ask any Fool the first two questions and s/he's fine. Ask the third and just start dialing 9-1-1!

Oh, so that's why it kept bugging Me to be included here...

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

Gil, is there a website I can visit to read more about "forced estate sharing" on the island?

Or maybe you have written something on this issue?

This has been one of those issues I find so entrenched in BS that I can't tell my head from my feet.

GCSchmidt said...

Nelson, what I know about this is that in Puerto Rico, you cannot legally disinherit a child, spouse or inheriting next-of-kin. In fact, if Mr. Dinero had three children and these three children each had three children (grandkids), should one of Mr. Dinero's children die, the grandkids of the deceased FORCIBLY inherit equal shares with Mr. Dinero's children. Our inheritance laws are much harsher in spreading the wealth that Lousiana's (Hi, Carol!) and are meant to avoid consolidation of wealth. The downside to that is that every inheritance basically turns into a money-grab, because the ONLY want to get what you inherit is for ALL parties to agree to the settlement. If only one person disagrees, there is no settlement for anyone. And lawyers LOVE this, charging by the hour until (possibly) the estate has to be sold AND they STILL collect. (The government gets a hefty chunk, too.)

When I say "legally," I mean that there are loopholes. For example, property in the States is outside Our jurisdiction, so it often isn't included. Also, there are ways to give an heir his/her inheritance while they are still alive and not have it be an equal share to what other heirs might receive.

Having said all this, I'm not a lawyer, but if you want to know the real stuff, invite a lawyer to lunch and ask away. You'll get the general information for a lot less than paying consulting fees (depending on the restaurant, of course.)

Good luck with this and your family's growth.