“…and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
That was pretty much the most entertaining part of last night’s “Unbroke” even on ABC. Samuel L. Jackson getting everyone to scream their defiance about being broke. I did like it on two levels — well, beyond the sheer entertainment value, of course:
- It encouraged us to wake up to the problem and take responsibility.
- The encouragement to take action and fix it.
I think that was the point of the whole special. However, I’m with SuburbanDollar on this one. He pointed out, on Twitter (#unbroketv) that Dave Ramsey’s Town Hall on Hope was better. While I don’t always agree with Dave Ramsey, he was all about the straight talk, and no patronizing. But, whatever it takes, I guess. As long as we as a society can overcome the inertia and do something about our collectively poor financial habits. At any rate, I only had one major beef: The focus on individual stocks.
For the love of heaven, what about index funds?
Like The Oblivious Investor, I’m enamored of index funds. They are low cost, don’t require management on my part, and, historically, over the long haul, they always grow. Unfortunately, no mention was made of them. And it wouldn’t have been hard to slip it in while they were talking about what an index is, or showing stock certificates of failed companies. In fact, I was struck by the incongruity of the fact that the show was talking about how the stock market goes up over time, and emphasizing the importance of individual stocks, while highlighting failed companies whose stock ended up being worthless — no matter how long you held on to it. It was the perfect opportunity to mention index-related investments.
“Funds” were sort of alluded to in a 401k segment that kind of went on too long and didn’t really offer any terribly useful information. They could have mentioned, briefly, a Roth option on the 401k, mentioned index funds at that point, or even talked a little bit about IRAs. Oh well. I guess on a basic level (which was what they were going for), the 401k is what people are most concerned about. And they did a decent enough job of trying to overcome the panic gripping many folks.
In the end, it was an entertaining hour, and it did cover some much-needed basics. Now comes the hard part: Actually getting back to the basics and putting sound money principles into action. I’m not sure that Unbroke will actually accomplish that. Although I will be interested to see what ratings the celeb-studded event did accomplish…
What did you think about Unbroke?