3 common financial horror stories

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3 common financial horror stories
3 common financial horror stories

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the book “Take the helm: why do the rich get richer and you still don’t get a fortnight?” by Francisco García Pimentel and Salvador Manzano.

I know it sounds hard to believe, but Having money is not the same as being rich. Last week we met Gerardo el Gerente: a man looking for a raise who somehow always managed to live on the line despite his rising income.

Sometimes we just chase something that we can’t handle. In these cases, money can become a real curse. Have you heard of María la Lotería?

Maria the lottery

Maria is a single mother, very hardworking. He is 40 years old. She gets up early every day to feed her daughter Karina, takes her to school and goes to the factory where she works as a receptionist.

Life has not been easy for María, but in one way or another she has the edge

Since he was fifteen years old religiously, he has bought his “Vaquita” lottery every month. It’s only a few pesos and while the odds of winning are very slim … there’s always hope that he can beat the fat man and now yes! Life is arranged.

When he has change, he buys instant or scratch lotteries in the store. Although he almost never wins (and what he wins he spends on another ticket), hope does not die. He once earned 500 pesos. And they made fun of them!

Of course Maria goes to the pawn shops when things get difficult and bought her things in weekly payments. You know it’s bad business, but what other option is there? So he paid for Karina’s baptism and graduation. In two years it will be XV so it will be necessary to mortgage something. This is how it is done and it has always been done.

But good people sometimes get what they deserve.

María called her mother and cried with emotion. I won the lottery! I won the lottery! Life would never be the same again.

Rain of blessings “

Maria had to share her prize with nine other winners and also pay taxes. In the end, however, he was left with 14 million pesos. This is more than you could ever have dreamed of in your life! Now she was literally a millionaire.

Maria did what had to be done. The first, of course, was to buy a house for his holy mother, who was in a better area than before. It cost almost 2 million plus the car and furniture. Of course her mother deserved it.

Then his own house, a little bigger (maybe he would get married again, who knows) and in a better neighborhood. He paid 3.5 million and also bought a car. Another one for Karinitas XV, who were already approaching.

The party was on high. More than 200 people! There was a live band, three main courses, a dessert table and gifts for all guests. It was in the largest room in town, with waterfalls and lighted gardens. It was a real dream!

Sure, the guests were more than expected. After receiving the award, he learned that he had uncles, cousins, brother-in-law, and godchildren he didn’t even know. But family is family. As a gift from XV, she and her daughter went on a European tour for a month and a half. He quit his job. After all, she was a millionaire.

He had a few million dollars left; but if you take care of them they could take you a long time. In the meantime, new investment and credit card proposals rained down on him. That year he took his mother and daughter to San Antonio for shopping. Then they went to Orlando to meet Mickey Mouse.

On their return, their uncle Felipe invited them to breakfast. I had a great business project for him: renting out construction equipment. All Maria had to do was raise some of the money – 5 million – to set up the office and buy the tractors. And with that he would earn a lot more.

María didn’t know much about tractors or investing, but she trusted her uncle Felipe, her mother’s cousin. So she decided to become an entrepreneur. After all, she was a millionaire.

Or not?

A year later, the company hadn’t started and the tractors were stopped. Uncle Felipe didn’t show up at all. Much less profit …

The house was spending a lot on maintenance and the cars were already in need of maintenance. But it is better to wait for them to decompose – they last a little longer. Her closets were crammed with new clothes and imported bags.

When Maria looked at her account, she found that there were only 1.5 million of the first 14 left. At that moment Uncle Felipe appeared. “We only need a million to get this going. Now it’s the latest ”.

When the bank called the following month to collect her cards (she owed more than 300,000 pesos), María began to despair. He told Karina that they had to sell a car. It was a gigantic fight and Karina left the house furious.

Now Maria had 100,000 pesos in the bank, two broken cars, a huge house, an angry daughter, growing debt and a bankrupt business. And he didn’t have a job. Only two years had passed since he won the lottery.

When Maria returned to her company to ask for a job, her position no longer existed. After a few months she found a job as a telephone counselor.

That first afternoon when he left his new job, he stopped by the little shop. “Can you sell me a ticket for? Scratch it? This one will be the good one… ”.

A story that repeats itself

The story of Mary is the story of many people who are waiting for the external “great miracle” that will lift them out of poverty. They either “hit” a “super deal” or they “drop” an inheritance or they “win” the lottery.

This system is even worse than Gerardo’s … and unfortunately one of the most widely used.

First, the obvious: the odds of winning the lottery or hitting the big deal are ridiculously slim. The probability of winning something serious is one in five million, more or less depending on the lottery. It’s stupid to bet that.

Have you ever wondered why most of the lotteries on the planet are government controlled? It is not uncommon to find this phrase in financial literature: The lottery is the tax of the poor. It sells a false hope to millions of people in exchange for a few pesos. It’s huge business for the state.

If Maria had saved between 15 and 40 years of what she spent in the lottery – let’s say 200 pesos a week – and invested 7% per year in a simple instrument, she would now have more than 1.2 million pesos.

1.2 million is less than 14 million, you say. Yes. The difference is that the 1.2 million you make is 100% safe every time. always. If the millions of people who buy lotteries every week saved what they were spending on vaquitas instead of, say, 100 millionaires, we would have MILLION millionaires.

Well … it’s unlikely. But what if I deserve it?

Okay: let’s say you actually win the lottery. Welcome to the world where 88% of the world’s lottery winners are equal or worse two years ago and 94% went bankrupt five years ago. In other words, not only are they spending all of the money they have made, but they are also using it to go into more debt.

The same applies to inheritances. It’s exactly the same. I know several people who have been waiting for decades to receive something. who even take long and expensive lawsuits to preserve their inheritance.

When the inheritance reaches them: 3, 5, 10 million … they are back to zero within a few years – or worse -.

The same case, that of María la Lotería, is what It happened to thousands of athletes, actors or politicians. A young man from the neighborhood with no financial education becomes a boxer or soccer player. In a few years he will amass a fortune of millions of pesos or dollars … but excessive spending, no investment and bad friends bring the “millionaire” back to the streets. Because of this, characters like Nicholas Cage, Mike Tyson, Stephen Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Ana Torroja, Whitney Houston, Burt Reynolds, MC Hammer and even Michael Jackson have filed for bankruptcy even after years of success and abundance. The list of footballers and boxers is just as long. They thought the money would come forever. But it was not like that.

So I am not saying that money is not good. It’s excellent.

I am also not saying that the rich have no money. You have a lot of money.

What I’m saying is that more money doesn’t automatically make you rich. As the classic financial saying goes: It’s not about how much you make, but how much you save.

Because if you hardly ride a bike, why do you think you can handle a racing bike? It’s important to make money, but it’s more important to know how to use it. Personal growth and financial literacy are essential for this.

That is why I claim that money can be a curse. If you don’t already have a millionaire mentality, you’re just a poor man with a lot of money. And a fool and his money … part very soon.

Of course we have to meet a third character: Mauro the Millennial. Which of them are you I’ll be waiting here for you next week to close this trilogy … financial horror stories.

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