The NSFW 401(k) Cheat Guide

For the sake of not dying of boredom, NSFW officially recommends just skipping to the questions you actually care about first. This stuff is not fun. The financial industry has ensured that it sounds as boring and complicated as possible. It’s a lot easier to take advantage of people when they’re asleep. **Edited: NSFW has removed a comment referencing Bill Cosby here as it is already a dated reference and not that funny. **

 

The Basics

What is a 401(k) and why is it called that?
It’s a retirement plan set up by employers that lets workers save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes are taken out. Taxes aren’t paid until the money is withdrawn later (ideally in retirement). The name 401K comes from the part of the tax code that created these plans.  The account your plan uses is made specifically to invest for your retirement and nothing else. Another company, called a plan administrator, takes care of and manages the account for both you and your employer.

My company says they will “match contributions”? What the hell are they talking about?
A contribution is the money you put into your retirement plan. The match means your employer will put in the same amount of money that you put in. You put in $100 a month, they will also put in $100. That means you now have $200 to invest with. Generally, an employer will have a maximum amount they will match (around 3-5% a month or per check on average).

What’s the catch? Why would they do that?
The catch is called “vesting”. It means that even though they put that money in there for you, you don’t usually get to keep it for quite some time. Nearly all retirement plans have a vesting schedule. Vesting schedules tell you how long you have to stay with the company to keep the money they “gave” you.  Companies love to talk about the employer match because it sounds like a great benefit (and it can be), but most will never even say the word vesting. It’s quite common for companies nowadays to require people to stay with the company for 5 or more years before they can keep 100% of their employer matches. Any gains that you made from investing the employer’s contribution will ALSO be taken away from you if you leave early. Sneaky Bastards.

How much can you put in to the plan/account per year?
2018 limit = up to $18,500
2019 limit= up to $19,000
Note that these maximums are set by the IRS, not your employer.

Can I invest in anything I want or do I have to choose from the funds specified in the plan?
Just the stuff in the plan. There will generally be a list of 20 or less mutual funds.

 

 

How to Willingly Give Wall Street Your Money While Bitching About Wall Street Taking Your Money

(aka Hidden Fees you are probably already paying)

 

“96% of people know how much they pay each month for streaming media services like Netflix. Just 27% know how much they’re paying in fees on their 401(k) accounts.”

Most people, if they invest at work at all, don’t bother looking at the cost of their retirement plan. Unfortunately, this can really suck away the returns that you make on your money over the long run. When people see a fee like .25% (for clarity that is just a quarter of one percent) they don’t give a second thought, because they’re still not completely comfortable with the idea of compound interest. The chart below can show you how much even a quarter of a percent can affect an investment return over time.

effect of fees on return 30 yearsSource: Investor.gov

Notice that the difference between the blue line and the green line is only .75% in fees. Not even 1%. In 30 years it shaved off around $30,000 from your retirement. So pay attention…

 

Types of Fees:

Plan Administration Fee = Money you pay the 401k plan administrator for managing your retirement plan. Generally there is no way around this fee while you’re with your employer, but it’s something to be aware of. This is also one of the many reasons why you don’t want to leave your 401k with an employer custodian after you’ve left.

Expense Ratio = The management and operations fees of the fund are generally grouped together into this number. It will be given as a percentage that you will pay each year you have your money in the fund.

12B-1 Fee Money you pay the fund to use for trading commisions at the brokerage and for advertising to other investors. This way you get to pay for marketing, not them. Not even kidding. You probably wouldn’t give them money if they called it Advertising Fee though. 12B-1 sounds fancy and people don’t ask alot of questions. This fee should be already included in the expense ratio.

Load = A sales charge. A load is a fee you pay when putting money into or taking out of a mutual fund. For example, a front-load fee of 1% on the fund means that before they even invest your money, you pay them 1% of all the money you’re giving them to invest. Pretty sweet deal, huh? If you pay the fee when taking the money back out of the fund, that’s called a back-load.

Redemption Fee = Money you pay for taking your money out of a fund too quickly. For example let’s say a mutual fund has a redemption fee for withdrawals before 30 days. You put your money into it. 3 weeks later, you decide you think another fund would be a better investment.  So you sell out of that mutual fund. You get to pay them for selling out before 30 days have passed.

What is a reasonable amount I can expect to pay in fees?
If you work for a large company, expect to pay about 1-2% a year with all fees included. Aim for 1% or Less (expense ratio + plan administration). Smaller companies with retirement plans generally run higher in fees (2-3%+). Aim for not paying more than 2% tops. Generally, when people are even made aware of the fees they are paying, they will make better decisions for fund choices. If a fund commands a higher fee, you may want to make damn sure that it has a long history of outperforming all other choices available.

Funds with higher fees are generally actively managed vs just indexed. The ironic thing is, the cheaper indexed funds usually outperform the stock picking managers (about 90% of the time). So just remember, 90% of the time, you’re best off just picking the index fund(s).

If you want a short cut in finding out how much money you’re giving away FINRA (financial regulator) has a free tool for you.

Fund Fee Analyzer
*Can be used for Mutual Funds, CEF’s, ETF’s, etc.

 

WHAT THE F*CK?

(A translation guide for that stupid packet they gave you at work)

 

Allocation
How your money is split up and used to buy stocks, bonds, or funds.

Equity (equities)
Stocks.

Fixed-Income
Bonds.

Balanced
Your money is put into a mix of different types of stocks and bonds.

Aggressive
Your account value is going to swing up and down more, but you have the potential to make more money in the long run.

Conservative
Your account value will be relatively stable, but you probably won’t make as much money in the long run.

Moderate
In-between conservative and aggressive. You won’t make the huge gains when the market goes up, but you also won’t lose as much if the market goes down.

Index (indexed)
The fund doesn’t have somebody making decisions on what to buy and sell. The value of the fund tries to match the growth/value of a specific market or theme.  Example, a fund that is indexed to the Dow Jones means you won’t have to buy every company in the Dow Jones. The fund owns all those companies and you will get the cumulative gains and losses of everybody. These funds are (as a rule of thumb) cheaper, better options than actively managed funds.

Global
At least some of your money will buy stocks or bonds from countries other than the US.

Developed
The big European countries. Think Germany, France, Switzerland, etc.

Emerging
Money is at least partially invested in the up and coming countries that aren’t typically considered as well off economically as the US or Europe. Think China, India, Brazil, Russia, etc.

Target Fund (aka TR  2050 or whatever number)
The 4 digit number is the year you expect to retire. A target fund means you pay a manager to allocate your money between stocks and bonds and reallocate regularly in the hopes that by the time you retire they will have invested your money way better than you could have. Hot tip: these funds are garbage and work superbly for Wall Street to bleed money from people who are too lazy to make a few simple, informed decisions.

 

Quote Source: TD Ameritrade 2018 Survey of 1000 active investors. The percentage of the general population who know about 401(k) fees is far less than 27%.

Backdoor Investing: A Safer Way to Speculate

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. It seems nearly every major website has been posting about either cannabis regulation, a new IPO, or some new product. Well, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about which cannabis stocks to invest in and our answer may surprise you.

While there are cannabis stocks we recommend investing in directly, we’re going to show you a quick and easy way to buy these companies in a much safer way. Simply put, you don’t buy the cannabis stocks… you buy the stocks of the companies that buy the risky stocks. You’ve probably seen at least one or two articles about companies investing in the cannabis industry. Cigarette companies, liquor companies, even a few financial companies (if you’ve got a good eye). Here’s the thing… Those big bastards have WAY more investment savvy than you do. They’ve got analysts who do the real work. There’s no reason for you to have to dig as much when a multi-billion dollar company has already done it.

Example:

Recently, Constellation Brands (STZ, the booze company behind Corona and Modelo beer, Svedka vodka, etc ) made a multi-billion dollar bet on the cannabis company Canopy Growth (CGC). Who do you think has a better idea on a good bet for a weed stock? You or a $42 billion company booze company. So what do you do with that? You can buy STZ if you want to buy CGC. You are getting a huge name brand company as well as a stake in a cannabis company trying to find its footing. If Canopy growth goes bust, you’ve only lost a small amount. If you buy Constellation, you’re getting world-class liquor and beer brands that already pay a dividend as WELL as a portion of Canopy growth. When you’re buying in a retirement account and don’t have to many years until retirement, it may not be a good bet to buy something without a track record (ie cannabis industry stocks). But the big guys who are speculating probably aren’t going to get even close to busting out like some new stock of the day.

So how do you know where to find backdoor stocks? Simple.

  1. Go to Whalewisdom.com. This site shows you 13-F filings (ie who owns what of the big boys on Wall Street)
  2. Enter in the symbol of the stock you want to buy that may be a bit risky or new.
  3. In this case, we’ll just use Canopy Growth (CGC)
  4. Sort the list by % of portfolio.
  5. Big company investments will be at the top of the list. You see here that the 2 biggest holders (whose portfolios are 100% invested in Canopy)cgc investors
  6. Now we Google who the hell those companies are. A simple search shows that  BOTH holding companies are owned by Constellation brands. The first search of CBG Holdings LLC has the first result showing this ownership.constellation investment
  7. The only thing left to do now is decide if you like Constellation Brands, which is  about 4x as big as CGC and already has cemented brands and a helluva distribution network

THAT’S IT! Try it with some new companies and see if you can find some bigger, safer ways to use to backdoor invest in new ideas. Weed stocks, Chinese stocks, new tech stocks.

WE’RE BACK!!!

Sorry, dear readers, for the huge gap in new articles. Numerous outside issues had to be tended to before we could make any new posts. Everything looks to be squared away for now and we’re back to making new online content.

2 major changes to be aware of:

  • Future  articles will tend to be more sporadic. That means fewer fluff posts (just trying to crank out one a day) and more need-to-know lessons and news.
  • We will likely start doing specific stock analysis. It seems the only thing many people we’ve spoken to want are stock picks. So now you’ll get a few. The best (highest potential return) ideas will be preserved for private clients.
  • We will TRY to make the lessons to be even more simplified. Some people have complained that the articles are too long and hard to focus on. Again, private tutoring is available if things run over your head.

Now here’s what you need to know about the markets:

Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have nearly doubled since March. Why? Because while you weren’t looking the big boys started buying in. This means hedge funds, banks etc. They’re trying to establish positions as crypto usage takes hold as a TOOL, not a fad. That means what crypto was originally intended for is starting to take shape. Our clients were told to buy in to 4 – 6 different coins on March 21 and the returns since that date all range between 38 – 99.5%. Not bad for a 2 month return.

President Mango Mussolini has re-ignited the trade war. In all fairness, he’s actually not completely wrong in threatening tariffs. Apparently china tried to re-neg on the last few months of negotiations and actually tried DELETING pages in the agreements hoping they would still get signed. Trump threatened tariffs, then China threatened back. The result on both sides was a swift bitch slap to the markets. Rest assured, this is only temporary. It’s almost exactly the kind of thing that acted as a catalyst in late 2018 and look how we rebounded. This isn’t a time for panic selling. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be holding some cash and hedging like a responsible investor.

Gold has simmered around the $1,300 zone for quite some time. While this annoys the piss out of us at times, it means the metal is going through consolidation. Consolidation is a stand still sideways trend while building up energy for a big move up or down. Our bets are on up obviously. As people grow more worried about the market being overpriced, trade war issues, inflation, etc gold tends to act as a sort of portfolio insurance policy. Typically, Worry = Good for Gold. Gold stocks have been up and down in a general bull trend and just FYI; they generally take a while to catch up when gold makes a move up. The higher prices commanded by the metal itself means profit margins increase, which means stock earnings calls get better and better.  More gold and precious metal lessons coming soon…

What are the best areas of investment in the markets?

As a catch up gift for reading this boring shitpost, the following is a ranking of market sector* strength from best to worst. Real estate is the strongest performer, energy the weakest. The easiest way to see what kind of companies are in each sector is to click on the link that starts with X and then go to holdings. Buy/Sell accordingly.

  1. Real Estate (Residential and Industrial real estate are king at the moment) (XLRE)
  2. Technology (XLK)
  3. Communication Services**  (XLC)
  4. Consumer Staples (XLP)
  5. Utilities (XLU)
  6. Consumer Discretionary (XLY)
  7. Industrial (XLI)
  8. Financial (XLF)
  9. Healthcare (XLV)
  10. Materials (XLB)
  11. Energy (XLE)

Glad to be back.

*Sector is basically just a way of saying “type of business”
**Most of the stocks you probably pictured (Google, Facebook, etc) when you read technology actually fall under communication services. Go look at the holdings for the etf XLK for technology and XLC for this sector.

 

PEAD: About As Close To A Free Lunch As The Market Will Give You

PEAD is post-earnings announcement drift. It’s a “phenomenon” discovered by in the 1960’s when some guys noticed that after earnings releases the stock nearly always tends to continue drifting in the direction that the earnings tilted. A stock has surprisingly good earnings and jumps on the news, it will probably keep going up for the next few weeks. Same with posting a loss, it will likely continue to drop in price not just the day after earnings, but for the next few weeks.

For example, Kraft Heinz is being slaughtered this morning. As we write, the stock is down 27.5%. Long story short, it because of a trifecta of bad news. Quarterly earnings were massively disappointing, they cut their dividend by 25% (one of the main reasons people buy huge, old companies like this is for the dividend), and they also disclosed that they are being investigated by the SEC for some possible funny business. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that the market didn’t like it. So now we have a stock down a massive amount and while this is a VERY overstated example, we can expect with nearly 100% certainty that the stock will continue to fall for a while. It will drift in the direction that it moved initially. Buying right after a huge drop like this is 100% a terrible idea. It may bounce up a bit because of the severity of today’s drop, but that’s only a band-aid on a bullet wound. It’s a pretty damn safe bet to assume you can short the stock or buy puts and probably turn a profit (assuming you don’t overpay for your option).

Conversely, you have a stock like ROKU which posted earnings and revenue higher than Wall Street expected. The stock is up over 20%, a massive over-reaction to an earnings beat. It doesn’t matter though, the street is excited. We can expect Roku to continue in the upward direction for a while. OR at the very least it will likely outperform the broad market.

So that’s all that nerdy acronym means… PEAD = if the earnings announcement was good, the stock will continue moving up for a while. If earnings sucked, it won’t just move down the day after the announcement, it will continue down for the short-term.

 

 

Further reading for the financial nerd types:

Post-Earnings Announcement Effect (Quantpedia)

Surprising Facts on Post-Earnings Announcement Drift (AlphaArchitect)
note: read anything Alpha puts out. Their work is golden.

Drift or Jump: What Drives Post-Earnings Announcement Stock Returns? (SSRN)

Post-earnings-announcement-drift and 52-week high: Evidence from Korea (ScienceDirect)

 

Value Size!! Becoming a Better Investor By Grocery Shopping

There are two ways to value things that come in multiples. By multiples I mean things that contain a number of ounces, liters, gallons, shares of a stock, etc. The first and most common way is to look at absolute price. Perfect example from a recent trip to the grocery store. A 12 oz bottle of a cleanser costs $10.99. A brightly labeled “Value Size!”  bottle has 16 oz and costs 14.99. Well, the value size is… obviously supposed to be a good value. You buy the $14.99 bottle.

You done gone and f*cked up.

The second way to value things is by unit cost. The math here is simple. Divide $10.99 by 12 (ounces). The result means 1 oz costs apx .92 cents. So if the other bottle of 16 oz should obviously cost less than .92 cents per oz. Right? Easy enough. Well, 16 x .92 cents = 14.72. Hold up… that’s .27 cents cheaper than the 14.99 price.

You’ve now 1. bought more of a product and 2. paid a higher price. Pretty sweet deal for the manufacturer and the retailer.

You may say “well, it’s only .27 cents, who gives a sh*t” and that’s fair. But if you start multiplying these price differences up in the hundreds and thousands of dollars it makes a bit more of difference. Especially if you keep making the same stupid mistake.

It’s tiring to hear over and over again that the share price of a stock is too high so it’s too expensive. One share of NVR (a phenomenal homebuilder stock) is $2,639.98. A share of AMD (a semi-conductor stock thats massively popular with gamers) is $24.17. New investors look at the 2 stocks and say that obviously AMD is a hell of a lot cheaper than NVR. Well, AMD is actually over 5x times more expensive…

In this example, we’re going to use the price/earnings (p/e ratio) that we discussed in our last lesson. Remember, Price to Earnings is simply the price you pay for a stock divided by the earnings your share makes in a year. In the last year (TTM or trailing twelve months) NVR has earned $195.31 per share. God d*mn…nice. AMD, the “cheap” stock, has earned .32 cents per share.

NVR’s Price/Earnings (p/e) is then $2639.98 (share price) divided by $195.31 (earnings)
which equals a p/e ratio of 13.26.

AMD’s p/e is $24.17 / .32 cents, which equals 74.61.

What would you rather pay 13.26 or 74.61? It’s not dollars, it’s a relative valuation, but it works the same way. Which leads to the conclusion that…

 

Just because the price is low, does NOT mean that something is cheap. Just because the price is high, does not mean it’s expensive.

 

If you want to get better at valuing things quickly, the grocery store already has a perfect way built in with many products. Most people never look at this, but it’s on nearly every label. Unit cost is written directly on the label. Think of unit cost as the p/e ratio in stocks.

sticker price for blinker fluid
Graphic from All Day Organics

From now on you need to start looking at that unit price label before making your decisions. In the above example, the bulk buy is truly a good deal. The unit price for the 62 oz bottle is less than half the true cost of the 8 oz bottle. In reality though, it can be about a 50/50 chance depending on the store. One thing to note is that if something is on sale you want to look at the adjusted unit price written on the sale label and not the white (typically) regular price label.

Start doing this on a regular basis and you will quickly and completely change how you think about the prices of things. It’s an easy one step closer to becoming a better investor.

 

 

NOTE: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda is made by Church and Dwight (CHD stock symbol). CHD has returned an annualized 18%+ since 1995… May be worth a look when it’s not too expensive. Hint Hint

 

Investing 101: Should Walter White Buy The Local Car Wash Company Or The Laser Tag Company?

Comparative valuation sounds boring, but when you understand the premise you’ll realize it’s easy as hell. The problem you run into when trying to pick stocks is that you’re comparing apples and oranges all to often. Unfortunately, most newbies make 1 of 2 mistakes. The first is looking at the share price of a stock and deciding “well, that stock is way overpriced”. You need to realize that share price is only a small part of the equation. If you don’t know how many shares a company has, then you don’t know how much of the piece of pie you get when you’re buying a share. The other mistake is not having a method of comparing 2 companies like Apple and Walmart. Those 2 companies are NOTHING alike obviously, and without a way to compare them most people usually then revert to which has a cheaper share price. So how do you figure out which one is a better deal. THIS is where we get into comparative valuation.  This one won’t hurt a bit.

Walter White* is laundering his meth money. He needs to find a company in that looks like a legitimate investment. Well, he’s a science teacher so he’s not just going to buy any crappy company out there. People will know he’s not buying a good investment. He’s narrowed it down to either buy Saul’s laser tag company suggestion or the car wash he used to work at. These two companies are nothing alike, so how the hell is he going to figure out which is a better investment. These are the 2 most common ways to compare companies…

Price/Earnings

The laser tag company is $500,000. It earns $75,000 a year. Earnings are sales/revenue for the last year minus all the costs of operating the company. It’s the money the company gets to keep. So the price/earnings ratio for the laser tag company is $500K divided by $75K. We get a P/E of 6.66.

The car wash is $800,000. It earns $160,000 a year.  So it has a P/E of 5 (800K/160K)

So somebody new to investment will typically look at the two and say “obviously, 500K is the better deal”. But now we have a way to compare the two. Laser tag has a P/E of 6.66 vs the cash wash at P/E 5. When buying an investment you typically want to buy the LOWER P/E between two or more investments. In this case, the car wash (while more expensive in dollar terms) is the better deal. It earns more in relation to the price.

 

Price/Sales

The next most common way to value companies is simply price vs sales. The only difference here is that instead of bothering comparing the money the company gets to keep, you just compare who sells more in relation to their price. The car wash is $800,000, but takes in $200,000 in sales every year. It has a price/sales ratio of 4 (800K/200K = P/S 4). Laser tag takes in $130,000 in sales every year. So it’s P/S is 3.85 (500K/130k = 3.85. Obviously, 3.85 is less than 4, so if you were valuing the companies just on sales, the laser tag company would be a better deal in this case.

Why Walter would value based on P/E vs P/S gets a little bit more advanced. If he compares the two based on P/E, the car wash is a better choice. If he compares the two based on P/S, the laser tag company is a better choice. As time goes on, you will figure out which is typically the best way to compare companies. In the beginning, we recommend just looking at Price/Earnings P/E.

A few of you are probably saying “that’s all well and good, but how do you compare companies when you’re buying stocks that have shares”. Simple, a company has a certain number of shares at any given point. So to compare the stocks vs buying a whole company you would just divide price of the overall company (it will be labeled as market cap) by how many shares are available. The good news is the price AND the earnings or sales will be divided by the same number (the number of shares doesn’t change). So NOTHING is different in finding the P/E or P/S with stocks/shares.

The good news is that looking at at the P/E of a company is so common that any stock site that you go to will have it already listed somewhere. Usually on the stocks main page or under a page called “valuation ratios”.  Here’s an example on Yahoo Finance:

 

aapl-2.14.19-pe
Yahoo Finance

By the way the (TTM) means trailing twelve months. Meaning the number is based on the last year worth of earnings.

 

 

So that’s it… you’re done. You can go now…

 

 

 

 

 

*He’s from Breaking Bad. Why are you reading this instead of watching it?

Something Stupid This Way Comes aka The Little MMT Birdy in AOC’s Ear

WARNING! The following hypothetical bullsh*t conversation is not a direct attack on AOC, nor should it be construed as such. Talking points have been culled from ideas mentioned in numerous interviews between the press, her, AND her advisers.

AOC: “Hey everybody, I’m so glad I’ve gotten so much support since I was elected. By the way, my friend told me about a great new way to create jobs. Anybody who wants a job can get one, and we’ll pay for the jobs by just charging it to the government deficit and tax rich people later to help pay the bill. Isn’t that badass?!”

Twitter People: “WOW! That sounds awesome. We can totally latch on to that idea without understanding how it works. I’m gonna tell my friends! You’re so cool, AOC!”

NSFW: “Um, AOC….what? How is that going to work?”

AOC: “It’s easy. So what people don’t understand is that when our government spends more than it takes in with taxes, it doesn’t really matter. We don’t have the risk of going bankrupt because we can just print more money. We make OUR OWN money because we’re a sovereign currency-making government. So let’s say I go to Target and buy something like one of those crappy “some assembly required” tables that take hours to put together. We put in on the government credit card. Then I take out a bit of napkin and write US Dollar on it in crayon, I can pay my credit card bill with that for now and now I’ve created a job for somebody. Americans get to put that table together if they want to. Guaranteed job. Later on, we can just tax the rich people in the country and then switch the piece of napkin for real money.

NSFW: “Wait, what? Who the f*ck told you that?!”

AOC: “My advisor Stephanie Kelton. She’s got a theory called MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) that says I can do that. The idea should at least be on the table”

NSFW: “Dude, we’re already in debt because we’ve financed too much sh*t with the government credit card for years. Now you with you’re buying tables. On a civilian level, we have an entire generation of people saddled with credit card debt and student loans and now you’re telling them it’s a good idea if the government gets us more into debt?”

AOC: “That’s totally different, because the government prints it’s own money. Our entire banking system is based on this already. This can be used to guarantee jobs and really it’s more important that we go ahead and over  It’s called quantitative easing. We just add an extra step to that. It’s worth it to spend the money now if it will create growth and help the economy.”

NSFW: “Go on…”

AOC: “We want to do a version of the New Deal like FDR did back in the day. We can have a bunch of government-run green initiatives and roll out things like new infrastructure and just charge it and pay for it later. Anybody who wants a job can have one. Like I said, deficits don’t really matter. We can just create new dollars to pay for it now. We only maybe have to worry about inflation.”

NSFW: “Deficits don’t matter… You know who else said that? Dick Cheney. He said that the Reagan administration’s work proved they don’t matter. I’m guessing you’re not a fan of Cheney or Reagan, right?”

AOC: “That’s different… he’s a malicious Republican. They’re sure as hell not going to spend the money on green initiatives. They spend it on things like war. Totally different”

NSFW: “Only the second half is different. Spending is what’s called fiscal policy. The creation of money is monetary policy. You may disagree on the spending part, but you seem to agree on the money creation part. If you’re saying we can just put the money on the government credit card you’re not doing anything different than anybody else. You’re just trying to use a newer “economic theory” to justify it. Trump likes putting stuff on the credit card too. And while YOU may understand how quantitative easing works, most of the population doesn’t really understand how the government uses it to keep interest rates down for economic stimulation. Trump just got on the Fed’s ass back in December for trying to raise rates. Raising rates is essentially shutting off the credit card. So again, you and the Republicans agree on SOMETHING.”

AOC: “Wait, how am I ANYTHING like Trump. He’s a piece of sh*t who doesn’t want to help the American people at all. He just wants to get rid of brown people and help the wealthy. I want to tax the wealthy. In fact, suggested the idea to put a 70% marginal rate on the “tippy top” earners of our country.”

NSFW: “Why do you want to tax the wealthy? You just said we can put it on a credit card because deficits don’t matter.”

AOC: “Well, we use that money to pay the bill later.”

NSFW: “When is later? We already have a lot of debt. If we don’t set a deadline now, how do we know when the bill is due? We keep overspending when our economy has massively slowed down in growth compared to other countries in the world. Why do you think it’s healthy to just keep the ball rolling? Sure, there are arguments to be made that overspending can be healthy when pulling out of an actual recession, but you sound more like a kid with a credit card that just says “spend now, and we’ll figure out how to pay the bill later”

AOC: “Every president has done it for years. Why is it not OK for us to do it?”

NSFW: “Ok, here. Perfect example. A lot of young people don’t think they’ll get any money for social security. That it’s an outdated program and that their parents and grandparents already maxed out the bill, right? Ok, so your MMT theory basically says that’s not possible because we can always issue more dollars and social security doesn’t have to run out of money if we don’t want to. So not only is social security not in trouble, but we should do social security on a larger level to finance giving people jobs and creating green infrastructure. So which is it? do you REALLY feel like we don’t have anything to worry about with us, our kids and their grand kids being able to get help from social security? or is this new economic theory just sound like it’s just a way to do stuff that looks great now at the cost of who knows what later?”

AOC: “I don’t see the problem, why can’t we do it if everybody else does? It’s an investment. At least, we’d be helping people.”

NSFW: “Are you though? This is exactly like when Trump passed the recent tax cuts. People making under about 180k a year got some kind of benefit, even if it wasn’t much. Everybody who hated Trump jumped on the bandwagon that “we may save a little money now, but it’s going to cost us down the line. Hillbillies just don’t understand economics.” We’ll this is just the left, “progressive” version of that. You’re wanting to  finance initiatives with things hopefully coming down the line. Sure you might create jobs now, but what if we’re paying for it for years?”

AOC: “They don’t understand economics, that’s why Trump also gave massive tax cuts to corporations and that didn’t work out at all. We have a completely diff…”

NSFW: “Ok, I’m going to stop you right there. Your argument is that taxes will come to pay the bill later. I get it. So the argument here isn’t really even about the tax code. We can fight over that forever. The argument is about whether or not its a good idea to just create money out of thin air to spend now because it will be spent on things you like and help people. That’s exactly what Trump and Republicans AND democrats have done for years. This is the Dick Cheney and Donald Trump “deficits don’t matter” ideology. Some people in the MMT realm have gone so far to say that talking extensively about deficits is fear mongering. It seems your advisers are really leading you down a dangerous road that’s going to put a nail in your coffin down the line. It’s ok to not know things, but when you promise things to the public and they assume you know what you’re doing because it sounds good? That’s how people like Trump end up in office. The average person doesn’t know any better. People don’t typically fact chick things that they already support. Most of your fan base consists of people reading tweets and Facebook posts about promises that sound great to people who are upset at how our country is being run. Doesn’t that sound f*cking familiar? And look where that got us. People now spend so much time retweeting stuff that sounds good and focusing on social issues while “tiny issues” like money creation get swept under the rug. What happens later? Things like the housing bust and the financial crisis and bailouts, etc etc. Then everybody goes blaming this side or that side not realizing that both sides are being f*cking stupid.”

AOC: “Did you just imply that I’m like the left-wing Trump?”

NSFW: “100% yes. Some of your ideas sound great and they’re refreshing. People are so f*cking upset about the presidency that you ARE a breath of fresh air. That’s how MAGA people felt when Trump started tweeting. That’s all we’re saying. Anti-Trump’ers love sh*tting all over MAGA people and how stupid they are, but you’re all falling into the same trap and don’t even realize it. When great programs are even hinted at being funded by MMT, that’s a risky bet that doesn’t need to be taken. MMT has NEVER BEEN TESTED IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY. IT OPERATES SOLELY ON THEORY. And just as a side note… I’m sure you’d be glad to know that the main guy behind your theory, Warren Mosler? He’s an extremely wealthy ex-hedge fund manager that lives in the virgin islands to avoid paying US taxes. Probably not the beacon of hope you’re looking for.

Your supporters may not have even paid attention to you mentioning funding initiatives other than you mentioning a 70% marginal rate on income, but they sure as hell love when you talk about jobs and healthcare. People need to know if “the bill” is coming for it later.  You want change, but you’re walking into a gun fight with a Nerf bat. The wealthy of this country are way more knowledgeable about financial matters than the lower income and middle classes that are starting to take action. People can’t just vote on social issues and programs to SPEND money on and hope for the best. If you want change, that’s f*cking awesome, but that’s just step one. In the same way that it took Trump being elected for people to wake up and pay attention to political issues; now you need to start looking at economic issues with the same fervor as people post on Facebook and Twitter about gender-neutral bathrooms or “the wall”. It’s the other side of the same coin, and nobody is looking at that side. The longer you go without looking at BOTH sides, the bigger the bill we pay down the line is going to be.

Nobody in this country gets to bitch about repercussions anymore if they don’t actively attempt to educate themselves before voting. Voting blindly just doesn’t cut it.”

AOC: “I dunno…I’ll  have to see wtf my advisers are thinking and try to convince my followers that the means are truly justified for the results people want.”  ***super optimistic response courtesy of NSFW***

NSFW: “Good, talk about it! You’ll also note I didn’t site sources for this exchange. I had over 53 sources saved just for this article and in the end decided why bother? It would be more helpful if people just did their own digging. I want you to SNOPES THE F*CK OUT OF US. Do your research, tear this entire conversation apart. You will learn a hell of a lot in trying to break down the argument. Think of how much progress has been made since the last election as far as people asking for citations for facts. Now do it with every politician when they talk about monetary theory, job creation, health care, etc. Wake the f*ck up and start learning this stuff now so we can do BETTER than every other generation that we like to complain about. All the information in the world is widely available, so now we don’t get to make excuses… we only get to admit when we were flat out wrong. How much we’re willing to pay for being wrong is up to us to decide right NOW.”

 

 

 

*The asterisks are to avoid work and school keyword filters.