December 5th was National Communicate with Your Kids Day. It was also National Blue Jeans Day, National Commute with your Baby Day, National Sacher Torte Day (whatever that is) and International Ninja day.
While I hate to throw cold water on all the ninjas in blue jeans taking their kids to work, what is the purpose of a holiday? If they are, in fact, to recognize/observe something or someone of significance, such as Veterans’ Day or Mothers’ Day, or to a lesser degree, to encourage productive behavior, such as Earth Day, maybe we are overdue for a holiday that can have a lasting, beneficial impact on more than those who practice the clandestine martial arts. Maybe it’s time for something like Buy-an-Asset Day!
Imagine a national holiday dedicated to the proposition that everyone in America purchase something that can both appreciate in value and provide an income. Anything from a single share of Disney stock to the Dallas Cowboy football team is acceptable. The only criteria is that it can both provide an income and appreciate in value. It could serve as an annual reminder to boost savings or it could be an opportunity for parents to engrain in their kids a habit of savings. It could even be used as a means of kicking old bad habits by redirecting money spent on things like cigarettes, gambling and gentlemen’s clubs into more productive pursuits like investing for your future. Given the vast array of American vices this could result in a massive wave of prosperity.
According to this article in U.S. News and World Report, more than one-Third of Americans have no savings and while having a day once a year dedicated to acquiring an asset probably won’t eliminate this problem, it can do a lot more towards addressing it than National Tortilla Chip Day (Feb 24th), National Microwave Oven Day (Dec 6th) or National Selfie Day (June 21st). Few things are more frustrating for me than meeting someone who has wasted the opportunity for compound appreciation, not because they lacked income but because they lacked the impetus to start or increase purchasing assets that both increase in value and pay an income to the owner.
When I was a child, my brother and I would visit my grandparents in Los Angeles every winter, spring, summer and fall and before coming back home, my grandfather would always dig into his wallet and give my brother and I between $5 and $10. My brother and I would fantasize about what we would do with the money for the duration of the 60 minute flight to San Jose only for my parents to confiscate the money for deposit into a savings account shortly after landing, “for our own good”. In the same way, Buy-an-Asset Day would give parents all over the country an excuse to buy stock in Apple, Inc. (AAPL) instead of an iPhone. Honestly, I think we would all be better off.