A Facebook friend, Jose Miura, sent me a Scott Adams (the Dilbert cartoonist) YouTube he thought I might be interested in. I started watching it a day or so ago.
I posted comments about it then before I had finished reading it. I just resumed watching the last half of it and discovered the SPECIFIC part that caused Jose to do that. I mentioned in my initial remarks that I had sent a copy of my novel the Unelected President to Adams at his home address.
At 17:16 in the YouTube tour of his house, he shows some books he has on display the “either people sent me or I like.” My Unelected President is one of them. I know it is a book a person sent him. I have no clue whether he liked it or read it.
Anyway, I am glad to see he got it and very much appreciate his having it on display in one of his offices.
Here are the remarks about Scott’s home tour that I wrote before I saw my novel, and the ones I wrote after.
That is very interesting. That is the house to which I mailed a copy of my Unelected President novel. He even showed where he opens his mail.
I am glad he is doing well financially—or was. He said his income has dropped a lot recently because of his failure to condemn Trump enough. He was one of the few who predicted Trump would win.
Anyway, the tour of his house makes a point I often make: you can only spend so much money on reasonable things. He had too much money when he built this house so it has all sorts of things that are hard to argue anyone needs—like multiple dishwashers and refrigerators and microwaves and kitchens and offices and so on.
He says they are for entertaining and that makes sense, although one can cross a line to where you end up living in a conference facility rather than a home. Ronald Reagan’s last home—his ranch—was quite small and had one bedroom. A lot of movie and TV stars buy a huge mansion early in their career then you see a small item in the media years later that they moved into a very expensive but not very big condo or ranch house.
A mansion is more of a JOB than a house. And I love the quote from Marshall McLuhan about the rich:
“To the spoils belongs the victor.”
Just so when you really pile on the possessions, rooms, household staff, and acreage.
We also have a house that we custom designed and had built about 12 miles north of Scott. We could not afford what he has when we built ours 34 years ago, but we could afford a lot of that sort of thing now if we wanted. We don’t.
We currently spend money on things like helping our two “homeless” sons buy their first homes, high-end cruises, and paying off debt. Debt for mortgages and college education and cars has been a part of our lives since college. Now we sort of regard it as an unnecessary front-end and interest expense and bother.
With no debt, you need not make the monthly payments or worry about an economic downturn that makes it hard to make the payments. Buying real estate for all cash eliminates most transaction costs, which are a major scandal in real estate. There is a chapter about minimizing your transaction costs in my Best Practices for the Intelligent Real Estate Investor book.
Otherwise, we spend money on things like several nights ago when I paid $39.50 to park for five hours in a fancy office building near an event I attended. I did not want to walk farther in the cold, dark San Francisco night for comfort and safety reasons.
Making extraordinary amounts of money takes time and risk. Even the richest man on earth only has 24 hours in each day. Time spent making money takes away from family, friends, health. And when you have enough, you should use your money to CUT risk, not to make more.
I was once contacted by the financial advisor for one of the top NFL QBs. He wanted to invest in real estate. I laughed and declined. I told him to tell his client he already had more than enough money and that the last thing he should be spending time on was being a landlord. I never heard from him again.
If he had called me back, I would have emphasized a first and second home then using his money to reduce risks like fire, violent crime, flood, hurricane, back-ups in case of loss of grid utilities, kidnap, inflation, deflation, depression, and so on.
Adams mentions his ex-wife in the video. And I do not recall reading that he had any kids. My wife and I have been married to each other for 42 years. We were never married to anyone else. We have three sons and a granddaughter and grandson.
I would not claim to be superior to Adams in either department. Stuff happens.
But I did believe that spouse choice was the most important thing in my life when I was in my early 20s, acted accordingly, and advised readers to do the same in my Succeeding book. It has worked out great for me and my family. I hope Scott finds a great match with another spouse and that they get to be parents. He is 11 years younger than I so he still has time.
Here begin my comments on the video from after I saw the second half of it.
Scott has an indoor tennis/basketball court with a sort of corner skybox in which is a massage table facing the court.
He has big flat screen TVs in many rooms, almost all were turned on to Fox News, although he commented that he watched other channels, too.
He has a play room which is now used for wrapping gifts and practicing his drums. He has a studio in which he records his YouTubes. I was thinking of doing podcasts and using our master closet which has been taken over almost entirely by my wife’s clothes as a recording studio because of all the sound-absorbing Ivy League wool and cotton fabric. (My wife says our alma mater Harvard Business School is not Ivy League. She believes only the undergraduate Harvard College is Ivy League. I disagree. HBS may be less Ivy than Harvard college, but not un-Ivy.)
His house has a Spanish architecture and interior design. I do not recall any wall-to-wall carpet: all tile, stone, and hardwood. To my taste that’s too cold. I like the warmth of carpet. Plus, our house has vinyl in the kitchen, bath, and laundry room and hardwood in the foyer and we found when we first moved in that those smooth floors were literally causing all of us and our cats to fall down. In the case of the humans, it was when we were in stocking feet. With the cats, it was when they were running at high speed and decided to stop. Both the humans and the cats in our house learned to slow down when traversing the uncarpeted floors.
It was nice that Scott gave us that tour. The only other such TV tour I remember was the one Jackie Kennedy gave of the White House.
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