January 11th, 2014

Chart Clip

Invested in My Past

“You can afford to put together an investment portfolio,” the man assured me. I was pretty sure he was wrong.

“No, I can’t. I live with my parents. I don’t have a steady job. I own virtually nothing in the way of tangible assets. I have no money at all available for investing.”

He was having none of it. “That’s what you think, but I can show you that you’re mistaken, that you actually do have investable income. And then you’ll have wealth that will grow without you doing anything else.”

“Please believe me, I really don’t have any money to spare for this sort of thing.”

“Yes you do!”

We went around and around on this topic for a few more minutes. He wanted to come over to my house and make a formal presentation. I told him it would be a waste of his time, but he insisted it would be no trouble at all. So I finally gave in and set a time for him to come over.

We didn’t know each other well at all. The contact that had brought us together was that we were both working on the same medieval feast, a one-time-only gig that I’d gotten on account of being friends with a few of the participants. Now, over thirty years after the fact, I’ve completely forgotten what he was doing there. He may have been a musician. But his day job was clearly more modern and, to my tastes, far more mundane.

Our meeting took place on a Sunday afternoon. My dad greeted him at the front door. He walked in wearing a three-piece suit and carrying a briefcase, which paired very oddly with my t-shirt and absence of shoes or paperwork.

So the meeting began. He dug right in, asking me a battery of questions about my income and expenditures. Each answer was crisply jotted down. After about ten minutes of this, he paused and quietly scrutinized the data I’d given him.

“Well… according to these numbers, you can’t afford to invest anything at this point in time.” He sounded astonished, but at the same time, he said it as if I’d been leading him on.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, but you said you wanted to come over and prove me wrong. So I let you come over.”

At that point, we agreed that there was no point in discussing the matter further. We shook hands and I escorted him to the front door. Since that day, I have become far more selective about who I will let into my home and to whom I will devote my free time. Oh, and the guy? I never saw him again. I can only assume that he wisely deleted my digits from his Rolodex.
  • Current Music
    All Those Years Ago - George Harrison