By Lisa Grayson
Dear Petulant Investing Acquaintance,
I’m so sorry to hear that your portfolio is worth a fraction of what it was last year. Really. I can’t imagine the agony of watching the evaporation of all that spare cash. You were planning to retire at 50, and now you may have to put it off until 55. Pity.
Governor Quinn sends me money every two weeks to help me feel better, and believe me, I’m grateful. But call it a simple lack of imagination, failure of empathy, Schadenfreude, whatever you want: I am tired of rich people whining to non-rich people. I’m talking about non-rich Americans, and we’re still better off than ninety percent of the world, which makes your whining all the more irritating. Sure, some of us are desperate, but most of us are trying to maintain an optimistic attitude because anxiety can lead to high blood pressure and ulcers, and our COBRA ran out seven months ago.
News flash: Most of us didn’t lose money in the stock market. We never had money in the stock market. The closest we might come is a small 401(k) or union pension fund. You don’t hear us complaining about the hundreds of thousands (or millions) we lost—because we didn’t have much to begin with. I’m sure it hurts to have your investments lose their worth. But what about all those years when they were gaining insane value, when you were earning easy money? When everything you touched turned to gold, with little if no effort from you? I figure you’re probably still ahead of where you started. Which is more than a lot of us can say. So please accept my condolences and kindly shut the fuck up.