Remember “How’s Your 401(k)”?
Apparently, that’s going to be one of Trump’s go-to talking points in 2018 and as Bloomberg wrote last month, the President recently “tested out the line at a fundraiser, a campaign rally and in a White House meeting, predicting that the rising U.S. stock market will help him win re-election.”
There’s a problem with that. Namely, the available data certainly seems to suggest that a lot of the people who make up his base don’t have 401(k)s:
But that’s fine, because to the extent that part of his base is inclined to buy into insane conspiracy theories, you can always put a knife to Devin Nunes’ throat and force him to write a secret memo based on classified information he’s never seen and then leak it to Fox News.
See, it’s a multi-prong strategy. Here’s how it works:
How’s your 401(k) doing? Oh, you don’t have one? Ok, well remember that the FBI is hiding in your microwave. Also, Muslims. And Mexicans. Vote Trump.
Anyway, Americans will be Americans and so it comes as no surprise that thanks in no small part to Trump’s incessant tweeting about the Dow, you morons are now posting screengrabs of your 401(k) balances on social media.
“In what many will see as the latest sign of investor euphoria, sharing your 401(k) balance on social media seems to have become a thing,” Dow Jones’ social media editor Sally French writes, before citing a Reddit post by a user named “Subject – Beef” who is now a millionaire – with $7,375 to spare:
And here’s a post from user “EquativeFib” who likened finding a half million dollars he didn’t know he had to finding an old, wrinkled $20 bill in a jacket pocket:
I use Mint.com to track net worth and to total all my investment accounts. It’s helpful because between me and my spouse we have a lot of accounts that have collected over the years (taxable accounts, 401ks, rollovers, Roth, etc) with two different providers, so it’s a nice way to get an automatic overview and summary.
Anyway, while I’m very aware of all my individual account balances and portfolios, I don’t check up on my net worth and investment totals all that often and failed to notice that Mint had my 401k account set to “inactive/$0” for over a year! So that chunk of money was missing from my investment summary overview.
The funny thing in that our FIRE goals were still on track (because stock market has been kicking butt) despite the “missing” money.
Anyway, here’s the brag: My 401k has $475k in it. Yeah, I didn’t notice it was missing. I re-activated the account in Mint and my investments jumped up to $2.2 million! I blew past the $2M milestone early and never even realized it!
I’d love to share the details of how I got there, I can’t tell anyone else so I’ll follow up in comments this evening.
EDIT: just to clarify: I knew full well my 401k had that much money in it. I just didn’t realize it was missing from Mint totals
TLDR; You know that feeling when you find a $20 bill in an old jacket pocket? My wife cracked up when I told her I found almost a half million.
Homie is gettin’ laid tonight!
This is like the old, white people version of rappers stuntin’ on the ‘Gram.
Now obviously, none of this has much to do with Trump. In fact, “Subject – Beef” clearly notes in his Reddit post that his “beefed” up fortune was accumulated over multiple administrations going back to the Clinton era.
But as the above-mentioned Sally French reminds you, “‘how’s your 401(k) doing?’ has become a staple in [Trump’s] speeches at campaign-style rallies and fundraisers.” And despite the fact that the rally in 2017 was just the culmination of a bull market that’s been raging for years, some people are buying the bullshit. Just ask Twitter user “StableGenius707”:
Incidentally, if you want to get an idea of what kind of people are inclined to believe in the notion that Donald Trump is the proximate cause of an equity rally that i) has more to do with a macro backdrop that’s been developing for years on the back of $20 trillion in central bank liquidity, and ii) has been going on since the lows in early 2009, all you need to do is take a look at “StableGenius707’s” latest Twitter activity, which finds him retweeting Alex Jones: