The 10th Man

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime

October 25, 2018

Occasionally, friends or family want to borrow money. How should you handle this?

BE CAREFUL.

This $5 Trillion Market Is Just Getting Started.

Don’t miss out on the ETF revolution. Get going with this must-read report from Jared Dillian.

Over the years, I have had about a hundred people ask to borrow money in various quantities—from fifty bucks to tens of thousands. I have granted a grand total of two requests.

There is the potential for a lot of ill feelings over borrowed money that isn’t paid back. It destroys relationships. Happens all the time. Whose fault is it? The scumbag borrower, the person who borrowed the money and absconded with it?

Or the lender, who enabled this stupid behavior?

These guys really know how to make money in markets. And they're letting Mauldin readers access their research for free…

Get it right here.

The Answer Is No

The answer to the question “can I borrow money?” should pretty much always be no. There are a couple of situations in which the answer is yes.

  1. The amount of money is small enough that non-repayment would not change the relationship.

That number will vary from person to person. Some people will not miss a couple of thousand bucks. Some people will get p----d over getting stiffed on fifty. Totally depends.

Here is the key point: if you loan money to a friend or a family member, you should immediately write it to zero. You should assume you will not be repaid. You should assume the loan is a gift. You should assume you will never see that money again.

If you are okay with never seeing the money again—I mean really deep down, you won’t miss it, and you are 100% certain it won’t change the relationship—then go ahead and do it.

This is the primary reason I never loan money. Not because I am a CF, but because it inevitably destroys relationships.

And here’s the thing: even if I’m not weird about it, the borrower might be weird about it. He will be weird about it if he can’t pay you back. He will avoid you like the plague.

So basically, never do it.

But every rule is meant to be broken. And if you do it:

  1. Charge interest.

Charge a lot of interest. This person is asking to borrow money because he has exhausted all other possibilities. Bank account is empty. Credit cards are maxed out. He has turned over every rock and you are his last resort.

Jack him up. Charge him 100% annual interest or more.

First of all, it’s common sense. If commercial lenders think he’s a bad credit, then he deserves higher interest rates. Payday lenders and title lenders often charge triple-digit interest rates. You should be doing the same.

If you’re going to do something irretrievably stupid, you might as well make some money doing it.

This $5 Trillion Market Is Just Getting Started.

Don’t miss out on the ETF revolution. Get going with The 5 ETF Trading Strategies You Should Know About Before Investing, from Jared Dillian.

If credit is not available, then the price of it doesn’t really matter.

Are you morally opposed to charging interest to friends and family? This is America. We believe in the time value of money here. Don’t be medieval.

The general principle here is:

a. Assume it’s a gift

b. But pretend that it’s not.

If You Get Stiffed

The time to get paid back has come and gone and you never got your money. How do you handle it? Do you blow up the guy’s phone? Hire a private investigator?

You can bet your ass he knows he owes you money. He knows where to find you. Let it go.

Of course, if you followed step one, you already would have written it to zero, so there would be no need to release the hounds.

But even if you write it to zero, you both know there is a debt outstanding.

I actually have an easier time loaning out large amounts of money than small amounts of money. I have no time for the guys who want to bum fifty bucks off you and then “forget”—oh geez, it slipped my mind.

That brings us to rule number three—which is also a general life principle of mine.

  1. There is no charity—only investment.

A few weeks ago, we talked about giving to charity. Even though I give to charity, I don’t really believe that I am giving to charity. I believe that I am investing.

When you give to charity, you expect nothing in return. When you invest, you expect something in return.

That something might be a psychic reward—in my case, the thought that I saved the lives of a few cats. That is an investment. Or seeing your down-on-his-luck friend recover from his bad luck and have a fulfilling life. Also an investment. Deep down, I think you know the difference between charity and investment.

So I don’t give. I invest.

Which is the primary reason I’m 2-for-100 on lending money, because I don’t believe many people are very good investments. If someone is a good investment, he won’t present you with his flaws—he’ll present you with his virtues. He’ll say, “You should invest in me because I’m great and you’ll get my money back.” Not, “I’m down on my luck and I’m a loser.”

Pretend you are a capitalist (which you are). Invest in this guy.

Where most people typically go wrong is that they loan money—saying publicly that they expect something in return—when in reality it is charity. And that’s where the resentment comes in.

Heads Up: “The Best Value in the Investment Advisory World”

I’m quoting ETF 20/20 subscriber John McI. above, and I’ll double down on what I said last week: I believe ETF 20/20 is the best ETF portfolio service out there. You know me well enough by now to know that baseless hype is not my thing.

To celebrate ETF 20/20 completing its first year, right now you can join us for just $49 for a full year. That’s less than half the list price. Works out to $4.08 a month!

I guess that’s the main question here—is it worth 4 bucks a month to you to get a service that will:

A. Help you build a solid portfolio that grows over time…

B. With much less volatility than the S&P 500, and

C. Help you stay invested through market ups and downs, as well as  

D. Improve your intellectual flexibility?

If that’s a yes…

Join ETF 20/20 for just $4.08 a month now

It’s a hell of a deal for a service whose focus is helping people get rich slowly. It’s a great investment.

And many thousands of ETF 20/20 subscribers agree—including the guy who tweeted at me as the S&P 500 was battered this week that it was “a great day to be an ETF 20/20 subscriber.”

If you put off signing up you might forget, and this is a limited time deal… so you might want to think about joining now.

Jared Dillian
Jared Dillian

 

Get Thought-Provoking Contrarian
Insights from Jared Dillian

Discuss This

We welcome your comments. Please comply with our Community Rules.

Comments

There are no comments at this time.


Use of this content, the Mauldin Economics website, and related sites and applications is provided under the Mauldin Economics Terms & Conditions of Use.

Unauthorized Disclosure Prohibited

The information provided in this publication is private, privileged, and confidential information, licensed for your sole individual use as a subscriber. Mauldin Economics reserves all rights to the content of this publication and related materials. Forwarding, copying, disseminating, or distributing this report in whole or in part, including substantial quotation of any portion the publication or any release of specific investment recommendations, is strictly prohibited.
Participation in such activity is grounds for immediate termination of all subscriptions of registered subscribers deemed to be involved at Mauldin Economics’ sole discretion, may violate the copyright laws of the United States, and may subject the violator to legal prosecution. Mauldin Economics reserves the right to monitor the use of this publication without disclosure by any electronic means it deems necessary and may change those means without notice at any time. If you have received this publication and are not the intended subscriber, please contact service@mauldineconomics.com.

Disclaimers

The Mauldin Economics website, Thoughts from the Frontline, The Weekly Profit, The 10th Man, Connecting the Dots, Transformational Technology Digest, Over My Shoulder, Yield Shark, Transformational Technology Alert, Rational Bear, Street Freak, ETF 20/20, In the Money, and Mauldin Economics VIP are published by Mauldin Economics, LLC Information contained in such publications is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information contained in such publications is not intended to constitute individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. The opinions expressed in such publications are those of the publisher and are subject to change without notice. The information in such publications may become outdated and there is no obligation to update any such information. You are advised to discuss with your financial advisers your investment options and whether any investment is suitable for your specific needs prior to making any investments.
John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics, LLC and other entities in which he has an interest, employees, officers, family, and associates may from time to time have positions in the securities or commodities covered in these publications or web site. Corporate policies are in effect that attempt to avoid potential conflicts of interest and resolve conflicts of interest that do arise in a timely fashion.
Mauldin Economics, LLC reserves the right to cancel any subscription at any time, and if it does so it will promptly refund to the subscriber the amount of the subscription payment previously received relating to the remaining subscription period. Cancellation of a subscription may result from any unauthorized use or reproduction or rebroadcast of any Mauldin Economics publication or website, any infringement or misappropriation of Mauldin Economics, LLC’s proprietary rights, or any other reason determined in the sole discretion of Mauldin Economics, LLC.

Affiliate Notice

Mauldin Economics has affiliate agreements in place that may include fee sharing. If you have a website or newsletter and would like to be considered for inclusion in the Mauldin Economics affiliate program, please go to http://affiliates.ggcpublishing.com/. Likewise, from time to time Mauldin Economics may engage in affiliate programs offered by other companies, though corporate policy firmly dictates that such agreements will have no influence on any product or service recommendations, nor alter the pricing that would otherwise be available in absence of such an agreement. As always, it is important that you do your own due diligence before transacting any business with any firm, for any product or service.

© Copyright 2018 Mauldin Economics