The Secret Broker: Why it’s worth paying extra for a little bit more love
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Every month or so, I head into town to get a fix job on my aching and creaking body.
The years of broker abuse from fat boy lunches, red wine and after-dinner ports means that I creak more than the floorboards of an 1850s renovated Paddington semi and my Google searches for natural gout remedies now outweigh my searches for ASX announcements.
So, on the last Thursday of the month, I go trundling into town in the wife’s Merc, donning a pair of Reg Grundys under my beach shorts heading to meet with Ron, my 71-year-old white South African masseur.
Ron’s hands have the strength of five male elephant wrestlers and they can release knots faster than any solo sailor ever can. No pain, no gain.
It only takes five minutes of me being up on the table before Ron starts to rant on about how he had to come out of retirement and go back to work after he managed to lose his and Mrs Ron’s entire life savings in a ‘second mortgage high income fund’.
The more he talks about it, the more his fingers go deeper and by the time my hour is up, he is in tears for his loss and I’m in tears for my pain.
Any words of wisdom I manage to wheeze out in the session are met with an “I know” and then a deeper tissue annihilation of my flesh.
So, I have learnt to keep mainly stumm during my sessions with Ron.
Now as I hand him his $85 in cash, I tell him to look upon this as like getting a whole years interest on $8,500 at 1%. Then I tell him that after his weekly quota of 10 massages, the $850 is like having $85,000 on deposit and within 10 weeks he would have earnt the interest on $850,000.
He quickly works out that his yearly income would be like having $4m on deposit.
This ray of hope completely lights up his face and as I drive back home, I think to myself “well at least one of us got a happy ending”.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I hear stories like Ron’s, where they have gone all out chasing a higher interest rate. I would get on my hands and knees to plead with you not to chase the interest rates higher, as I know how this story ends.
Stick to the banks, take it on the chin and look for good ASX (non-dividend) paying growth stories to counter the effects of inflation that record low interest rates will have on your lump.
You only have to look at the richest men in the world and the companies they run to realise that none of their companies rarely, if ever, pay a dividend. Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Warren’s Berkshire Hathaway – all reinvest their income and put it to better use than handing it out to shareholders.
Jeff Bezos even managed to pay out U$38bn in the world’s largest ever divorce settlement and still remain the richest man in the world, a feat that any capitalist pig can only admire.
So, no matter what happens now, we live in times of record low interest rates (so low that they come in under the rate of inflation) and you need to adjust. Please do not be too tempted by the front-page advertising with so much spit and polish that they blind your thoughts with yields of 8%.
I pay a higher commission rate on my trading account because it is with one of the big four banks. I do so in the knowledge that I can wake up every morning knowing my cash is safe.
For the sake of cheaper non-bank commission rates, I choose peace of mind over saving a few dollars.
This way, when I die, I know both Ron and I have got happy endings to be proud of.
The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU. Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips, so he can lead a simpler life.