Mindful of the recent collapse of favored investments in
subprime real estate and credit default swaps, and in light of the fact that
the traditional markets remain turbulent in the wake of escalating implosions
and regulation, we focus this month’s advice on safer harbors for our
1. The rate at which artistic masterpieces are damaged or
stolen has gone up dramatically in the past quarter. A patron of the
Metropolitan Museum, for example, recently slipped and put a six-inch tear in
Picasso’s The Actor. Due to the limited number of works of genius on the market
(and the fact Picasso’s output has declined significantly since his death), BIG
advises clients to buy any and all masterpieces that come on the market.
Examples include Van Gogh, da Vinci, Kahlo and (Charles) Schultz. Clients are
directed not to obtain works by Dale Chihuly, especially if kept in seismically
2. After the Bernie Madoff indignity, we are advising
clients to stop using previous shielding strategies (leveraged annuities,
triple net leases, hedge funds, etc.) to divert the attention of investors and
the IRS. The new obscured wealth gain strategy is JPM (Just Print Money). BIG
recommends an HP LaserJet CP2025 and a GE front-load washer.
3. Whatever Jim Cramer says, the masses will follow. Do the
4. While most property values remain underwater, the
long-term outlook for land ownership remains strong on self-contained islands
such as Manhattan and Hong Kong, and in fortified strongholds, such as Pyongyang and Medina. Buy. Hold. Re-fi. Highly
5. As an insurance policy of last resort, get Too Big To
Fail. BIG clients are encouraged to purchase large corporations that affect as
many people as possible: children’s hospitals, nursing homes, public transit
boondoggles and miltary contracts. Embed yourself in the economy so that, if
you go down, everybody goes down.
6. Avoid buying “mega-bling”: Major League Baseball teams,
trophy wives, Russian TV stations and submarines, as well as the extreme
personal “hobbies” some cultivate: Paul Allen’s WWII plane obsession, Jeff
Bezos’ fleet of spaceships, and Bill Gates’ quaint effort to help poor people.
Spend wildly, but keep it on the DL.
7. The phrase “It takes money to make money” must be seen as
the euphemism it is. It takes other people’s money to make money. Find
established loan sources, preferably that do not need to be repaid, including bailout loans, Halliburton Credit Union and the
European Central Bank.
8. Consider: For $3,777.75, you could maintain a pricy
three-Starbucks-lattés-per-day habit for a year, or you could buy 365 cheap
shares of Starbucks stock. Grow your bottom line, not your waistline.
9. Cash is still king. Specifically, the Chinese yuan is
king. Learn to hoard. Also consider precious metals, food commodities, purified
water and ammunition.
10. One final tip: All assets dilute over time, but some
more rapidly than others. Please refrain from too much genetic dilution (See:
Paris and Nicole Hilton). Moderation in all things is a proven strategy for
growth and long-term success. Inherit money, don’t spend (too much of ) it, and
know when to quit procreating.