Nords I really want to start a topic along the lines of the thread "heard at work" specifically about the military.
I've been reading this blog now for a little while and feel so relieved and excited to find such a great community of like minded individuals. While not nearly as mustachian as many on this forum, I've always been into saving and investing. One thing that has practically driven me crazy over my military career is listening to the consistently uninformed opinions that many military members have about money. To make things worse, I find that many of the worst offenders are junior enlisted members, who because of their age and income could benefit the most from a little financial education.
So I always have to bite my tongue when I have conversations with guys about money. No kidding, two days ago I'm in the deployment line getting ready to head overseas and I strike up a conversation with a Staff Sergeant in front of me. He seemed like a pretty nice guy and we talked for a bit while waiting to check our bags. Somehow, the topic turned to investing, and he told me this story about how he had purchased a couple of stocks 5+ years ago for his retirement fund. At first he was bemoaning the rate of return, which puzzled me at first, until I realized that he was talking about the dividend. So I mentioned that the dividend is one piece of the overall return on stocks and that you have to look at appreciation as well. He then went on to say that every single one of his stocks had gone down, including Exxon Mobil, which he had held for 8 years. (I found that really hard to believe for XOM, but without a chart in front of me I couldn't really contradict him) Oh, except he had one stock that had gone up and it did business in his home state so he decided it was a keeper. So anyway he had come to the conclusion that investing is for suckers and that he should get into daytrading. Trying to stay calm, I told him that I had done a little bit of short term trading back in the late 90s and had gotten a sour taste in my mouth during the tech crash. I pointed out the studies that show it's the amount that you save and invest that is the biggest determinant of your final number, and how I've gone to passive index ETF's because I don't think that anyone can really beat the market long term and it's important to stay diversified without incurring extra costs. But, he was undeterred because his friend has supposedly made 38,000 over the last 14 years day trading and he figures that he can do it too.
I told him about the deployed Savings Deposit Plan and tried numerous times to point out the benefits of the TSP ROTH 401k options, especially for his deployment and paygrade situation. But he was convinced he had a better answer.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that isn't crazy, and that's why I love reading this blog.