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    Thursday
    Sep272012

    The Josh Brown Chronicles...Part 1

    I had a lot to say about Joshua Brown about 30 minutes ago, but my damn USB keyboard was giving me fits.  After rummaging thru a room full of old computer parts, I couldn't find any other USB keyboards (even though I know I have several).  The boogeyman must be hiding them from me.

    After getting out my laptop, my son offered me his keyboard.  I set him up with a PS2 keyboard, so here we go...typing on an Apple iMac keyboard.  They say things happen for a reason, so I'm sure I'll figure out this delay sometime.

    Anyway, this is going to be a several part story of why I admire Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker.  Just Google it to find his site.  I am already behind schedule and won't be adding any links tonight/this morning...it's already 4:20am here on The Great Plains.

    I started reading The Reformed Broker's website way over a year ago.  It has taught me a lot.  I decided, in 2008, to manage my own IRA.  I was tired of blaming my 401K, and other IRA advisors, for my dismal money making performance.  I am much more comfortable doing it myself.  Now I have nobody else to blame.

    I studied, and studied, before putting all my retirement money into an online Scottrade account.  Then I studied, and studied, about what to invest in.  I am from the Midwest.  I have relatives and friends who have already paid off their homes.  I have relatives and friends who have maxed out credit cards and have already gone through bankruptcy at least once.

    I guess I am somewhere in the middle.  It makes me mad, that over the last 20 some years, a lot of our law makers have filed for bankruptcy on their way to Washington, DC.  Some of them even helped draft the bankruptcy laws that they benefited from.  Nowadays, those laws are way worse than they use to be.  I guess they already got theirs.  It pisses me off to even think about it.

    I figured my only option was to hold my head up high, and pay back anybody that I owed money to and forget about the letter of the law, and go with the spirit of the law.  Don't file bankruptcy unless that's your only option.  Like my hero, Willie Nelson, said, during his IRS problems, "I don't want charity, and if I still have a talent to earn money, then I want to pay my debts".  Which he has done admirably.

    I have been in that boat of debt over my head for about 7 years.  After 2 failed relationships, I was left holding the bag for $22,235 worth of credit card debt.  I don't blame anybody but me.  I was hoping something positive would come of those relationships, but nothing did.

    Back in 1984, I got married to the wrong girl just long enough to have a child.  A few years later I took custody of my son and raised him since he was 3 years old.  He's now 28 years old, and a fine young man.  That wasn't an easy road...but I digress.

    Anyway, being a part of the working class, not the lower middle class, not the middle, and certainly not one of the "1%", I have been dutifully, slowly, paying off my credit card debt.  I now owe around $9,500.  Me and my son have eaten a lot of rice and beans, but we have also eaten a lot of ribs and brisket.

    I am a frugal guy.  I don't have brokers and advisors working for me.  I am learning for a lifetime.  That is why I am so very thankful that I came across The Reformed Broker's website.  A top notch, free, education.  I do have some money saved for retirement.  I read online that a chunk of people have less than $25,000 saved for retirement.  I squeak by that figure.  I just turned 54 years old, and it has taken me pinching pennies for a lot of years to have anything saved at all.

    I trust Josh Brown to be a straight shooter with his website and insights.  He hasn't let me down yet.  If anybody wants to say that I am link baiting or kissing ass, then you don't know me very well.  I am just saying what my experience has been.  It's not all pretty, no?

    I am calling this The Josh Brown Chronicles because I want my friends to know that you don't have to blindly trust somebody else with your money.  I didn't.  I haven"t.  I have done my best to educate myself about the world, the financial markets, the stock market, and human behavior.  All I'm saying is The Reformed Broker has helped me in all those things.

    Part 2 coming soon.   

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