I Don’t Like Those Wealthsimple Commercials
The future, like investments, is in no way guaranteed.
YouTube must have figured out that I’m totally into personal finance, because every preroll I’ve gotten for the past week or so has been for Wealthsimple—and every time, I think “we have to talk about this on The Billfold.”
If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s what happens: every time the younger woman increases her monthly investment amount, the older woman, aka “Future You,” gets more stuff. (It’s like Looper, but with consumer spending.)
At $250 a month, Future You gets a purse. I don’t know about you, but I’m already wondering what kind of investment returns this young person is getting if all her future self can afford is a purse. (It does not appear to be a $12,000 Birkin bag; the handle’s shaped differently.)
At $350 a month, Future You gets a gold jacket. Which… okay. I’m not clear on exactly how old these women are, but let’s say the younger woman starts investing at 30 and the older woman is now 60. $350 every month for thirty years is $126,000; if we factor a six percent return, the investment will be valued at $351,967.05.
So it’s not enough to retire on, but it is enough to buy a new jacket. That sounds kinda like the dystopian future I was promised.
On the subject of dystopian futures: it’s hard not to watch this Wealthsimple commercial without thinking “gaah, I hope we all make it through the next thirty years.” This cheery, white-walled room gives us a future without war, without illness, without children (an interesting choice) or aging family members or lost jobs or anything that might prevent us from someday buying the swingy, blingy jacket of our dreams.
But… why not just buy the jacket now? Even if it costs you $350? If you want it that badly, and you have the money, don’t wait. The future, like investments, is in no way guaranteed.
The thing this young woman appears to want most? Pugs. At $900 a month, her older self is finally able to adopt nine pugs, which seems to be at least four pugs too many, but if you’re making up for thirty years of pug deprivation because you feel like you can’t afford it yet, I can see wanting to go all in.
I want to tell this young woman to go ahead and adopt her dog. Yes, it’ll cost money. Yes, she might only be able to invest $250 a month instead of $350 or $900—and that’s still, like, way more than a lot of people can afford. It’ll be okay. (I can’t say for sure that it will be okay. But let’s imagine it will.)
It’s good to save and invest and build your Fuck Off Fund, but if you want what appears to be the simplest pleasures of life, which is to say clothes and love, you can have those now. You don’t have to wait thirty years and hope the market doesn’t collapse. There’s a pupper at the animal rescue center waiting for you—and that dog’s love will give you way more than a six percent return.
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