Monday, June 04, 2007

Generational Divides -Cultural Differences

Due to my age, I was blissfully unaware of critical world events during all of the 80s and some of the early 90s. For example, I don’t recall anything about AIDS epidemic, the Challenger explosion, the stock market crash of 1987 or even the fall of the Soviet Union. I only faintly recall some details about the First Gulf War.

The events that have shaped the filter through which I see the world include Hurricane Katrina, Enron, the Columbine high school massacre, Indian Ocean Tsunami, stock market crash of 2000, 9/11 and of course, the ongoing “War on Terror”.

My view on money was forever impacted by the stock market crash of 2000. I’ve always been fascinated with money and started investing in the stock market in 1998, at age 16. At the time, the markets were going nowhere but up and I recall thinking how easy it was to make money. A few years later, the market crashed and I lost a lot of money (relatively speaking). Because of this, I currently have less than 25% of my savings in stocks. The large majority of my personal savings is invested in the guarantee return fund within my former employer’s 401k plan. That may seem extremely conservative for a 25 year old. That is, until you realize that it’s a guaranteed rate of return after all fees and dedications of 7.5%. Not bad.

A year after the market crash, all of the corporate scandals started. Events such as Enron, the pension fund defaults/cuts and large scale corporate layoffs have caused me to be far more skeptical of big business that most people part of the Boomer generation. The idea of a 30 year “career path” not only does not interest me, but also a bit depressing. I want a sense of excitement, adventure and mystery.


Anonymous said...

Hey Topher! It feels like ages since I've posted on here and I felt it's about damn time I do it again. I'll be brief because I just had a glass of wine (and Spanish at that!) and considering I got up at 6am this morning, I'm getting sleepy.

But hey, first, does NWM match your investment? Say, if you invest 7.5%, some companies will match up to 50% of that to maximize your investment. Kinda fun.

Second, when are you arriving back in the States and when do you plan on being in NYC? I'm preparing for an interesting bubble assignment of 6-8 weeks at GE Coils in Cleveland but will be in New York for the 4th of July. Doubt you'll be there that early. July is like a prime month in Spain for fags, taking a well deserved rest from the busy pride month of June. Or not!!! :)

Anyway, enjoy your remaining time in Schpain (as I like to call it sometimes) and talk/see you soon!

Chris Rako said...

Thanks for the comment, Ivan.
1)Yes, they matched it 50% for the first 6%. Not a bad deal.
2)I'll be in NYC the 14th of August through the 21st.
3)I arrive back in the States on August 1st.
4) "Europride" occurs later this month in Madrid this year (it changes every year). I'll be there, along with the other 1.5 million people they are expecting.