Friday, March 13, 2009

Hatin' on Commercials, Post-Apocalypse edition: Bad idea meets really bad timing

ING, the company that touts the Orange Savings Account, has billboards, bus signs and other outdoor advertising proclaiming the statement "There's no such thing as Saver's remorse."

Ignoring the odd capitalization, I'd like to say that they were at least a little wrong before the economy went to hell, and after the apocalypse they are really wrong.

If the inflation rate is higher than your savings account rate, you can experience saver's remorse. It's better to spend the money on needed goods and services, and if you can find an investment keeping up with inflation, like gold or other precious metals that often work in such times, then you are happy to invest in that, but the kind of savings any bank or other institution will offer just won't cut it.

The much harsher version of saver's remorse is all the people who thought their 401K accounts were savings accounts. As way too many people have found out recently, they are high risk investments that could shrink to less than the amount you put in, and you would have had to be clairvoyant to know when it was best to pull all that cash out, take the penalty and stick it under your mattress or into an honest to God, boringly low interest savings account instead of letting your soon to be criminally indicted hedge fund manager handle it.

My personal troll is in the financial services industry, as are (or were) many other creepy scumbags, including Rick Santelli, Nassim Nicholas Taleb and the now castrated weasel Jim Cramer. I don't think they realize that a growing segment of the population have a higher opinion of convicted sex offenders and typhoid carriers than they do of current and former derivative traders and hedge fund managers.


FranIAm said...



I can't find any words other than these.

namastenancy said...

I sure wish I hadn't listened to "my" Fidelity advisers last fall when I wanted to convert my savings into cash and park it in CD's and just regular savings accounts. I also wish I hadn't listened to my "so-called" friend who posed as knowing ever so much about the stock market because she had made so much money. Her comment to me when I wanted to play it safe was that I was a coward, among other insulting phrases. Unfortunately, I was stung by the harsh words and tried to prove that I had the "right stuff." My 401k - which took me 30 years to save - has now lost 50 percent of it's value and the end is nowhere in sight. My only consolation is that when I need the advanced and expensive health care that you need when you are 80+ and ailing, I won't be able to afford it so will depart this life a lot quicker.

Matty Boy said...

I was going to write about people who saved their money only to see it go away in the last few months of their lives fighting the disease that finally kills them, but I all the ways I wrote about that were just too harsh, so I left it alone.

But, of course, Namaste Nancy is right about this.