On the streetcar this morning, a very obnoxious guy in his mid-to-late twenties was having a loud conversation on the phone. The first thing I heard was “Hey man, can you lend me fifteen hundred or two thousand? I need to buy some stocks but I’m flat broke right now.” He was on the other side of the streetcar, so I wasn’t intentionally trying to eavesdrop but it was hard not to hear him.
He was Italian and he had his slightly long hair greased up and slicked straight back, almost forming a mullet. He looked like a member of the Mafia with his trench coat and suit and slicked hair.
Based on his conversations, it sounded like he was a stockbroker. When the person on the other end of the phone asked him where he was, he replied “I’m on the streetcar. I didn’t have any cash for a cab, so I had to take the streetcar. I only have US $100s. He then continued to tell his buddy about how he had a crazy night the other night and didn’t get home until 5:30AM. He ended up at For Your Eyes only (strip club) and ended up taking 2 girls back to his buddy’s place. He couldn’t wake up in the morning to get to work, so he missed the morning at work.
In my days in Toronto, I’ve met several stockbrokers who make a ton of cash. Most of these guys are raking in 400,000 a year and up, some of them over a million. But they blow all their money on living the lifestyle, and a large portion of them are heavily into Cocaine and other drugs. They live the lifestyle, but they always want more. It’s still never enough. Thousands of dollars get blown at the strip clubs, but they’re never happy. Sometimes when you’re younger and less mature, you crave that lifestyle because you think about how fun it would be. I think the novelty would probably wear off after 6 months and you’d probably be more conducive to depression. I find that people who fall into this trap bring everyone else around them down with them and eventually nobody wants to be around you anymore. I’ve seen the opposite effect as well, but I think the majority of people fall into the trap.
What is the moral to the story? Money can be the devil if you let it control you.