I (Adina J), a self-confessed personal finance snob, select a handful of excellent PF articles from the week gone by. The TimelessFinance Sunday Reader serves these pieces to Readers of refined tastes. And because we all need a bit of comedic relief at the end of a long week, I’ll label one Personal Finance Fail — a self-explanatory category. (Submissions: email@example.com)
This week started off strong with a post from W at Off the Road Finance on the difference between academic econometrics and quantitative finance. (OK, it was actually posted late last week, but I didn’t get to it till Monday, which means that CYC beat me to the punch. It doesn’t matter, read it again anyway – it’s definitely “Sunday Reader” good!) The bottom line is that it pays to think outside the herd, when you’re smart and surrounded by sheeple (Editor Joe’s Note: “sheeple” is a synonym for “users of Apple products”). W’s comments on the intellectual benefits of strategic internet trolling have brought me a whole new understanding of Joe’s internet persona.
Makin Sense Babe reviews what determines career success for men, and how it makes them better partners, too. Maybe golddiggers are on to something, after all?
If finding a sugar daddy (or momma) is not your cup of tea, Nelson at Financial Uproar has put together a nifty plan for achieving financial independence; part 1 talks about the savings rate. Basically, the earlier you start saving, the better. If you need convincing, Nelson has a bunch of sexy charts. His choice of descriptor, not mine.
Boomer of Boomer & Echo talks about a topic that’s about as far from sexy as you can get: to wit, the planned obsolescence of household appliances and its impact on your wallet. In plain English, why today’s appliances look good but don’t last, and what you can do about it.
And, finally, we come to the Personal Finance Fail of the Week and a repeat honouree from the esteemed ranks of Yakezie bloggers, Lance of Money, Life, and More (Editor Joe’s Note: I added the serial comma. Lance forgot to put any commas in his website’s logo. Kind of like he forgot to write any valuable content). In this post, he tackles the travesty that is a free-travel-mug-with-Hoveround offer. If your knowledge of mobility devices is limited, suffice to say that a Hoveround is a fancy, schmancy version that costs around $3K. The manufacturers are apparently offering a free travel mug with every purchase, and Lance is incensed. At first, I was going to put quotation marks around “incensed”, having assumed that he was joking. But, apparently, that is not the case:
“All sarcasm aside, what in the world were these marketing executives thinking when they came up with this promotion? Better yet, what in the world were the people who bought a Hoveround for a free travel mug thinking? Let’s investigate the first question before we get to the more absurd second question.” [my emphasis]
Oh, Lance, let’s! So, tell me: why did those nutty folks at Hoveround come up with this marketing strategy?
“… they got some free advertising out of it. Notice how it was so outrageous I’m blogging about it? How many people do you think told their friends about this crazy stupid offer? I bet I wasn’t the only one…”
Nope, I’m pretty sure you are. Are you blogging because of your outrage, or because you couldn’t come up with a better idea to fill 300 words? Either way, strike one.
Lance, please expand on what those people were thinking when they bought a Hoveround to get a free travel mug.
“To be honest, they weren’t. That is the only possible answer for it if they bought the Hoveround solely because of the free travel mug offer. Now if they were going to buy one anyway it does make sense to take advantage of this awesomely amazing offer. I mean, wouldn’t you want a free travel mug too?
If the travel mug pushed you over the edge and made you pull the trigger I personally would love to talk to you about your decision. You just paid at least $2,995 for a power wheelchair to get a $5 travel mug. I’d like to reiterate that you could have bought 599 travel mugs for the price of one Hoveround.
The absolute worst case I could see happening with this promotion is if someone got Medicare to pay for the Hoveround and the only reason the person wanted it was the free travel mug… If this is the case we have some serious problems.”
Lance, you’re messing with us, aren’t ya? Right?! Surely, no one spends this much time thinking about hypotheticals that even a pre-schooler could identify as ridiculous. I personally would love to talk to you about the essence of abject fail embodied in your post. Strike two and three.
And we’re done another Sunday Reader. See you all on Wednesday!